Bischof, who spent eight years in Hempstead with the Pride, said he has a more immediate concern; the Seawolves August 22 season-opening match at home against Northeastern.
“To be honest, I don’t care about the Hofstra game right now,” he said. “I’m obviously aware Hofstra is on our schedule, but I’m not looking ahead. My focus is on the home opener.”
The season-opening match against the Huskies is one of 18 matches on a challenging schedule that also includes St. John’s, West Virginia and the usual slate of America East Conference games.
“I’m looking forward to our first serious competition,” he said. “I can’t wait to see the girls compete on the field.”
Since taking the reins of the women’s soccer team this winter, Bischof said the transition into his new position has gone well.
“I was hired at a good time, just before the spring season started,” he said. “That gave me enough time with our spring schedule to get to know the players and implement a couple of things I thought we should change.”
But the work for a new coach to fully put in place a playing philosophy takes time. Bischof called the process “long” since it requires a new coach to ask players to do something different than they have in the past.
“We used our scrimmages to see what changes we could put in place and feel strongly about those changes,” he said. “I don’t think we will play the same kind of soccer in the fall that we will play over the next couple of years.”
On the field, Bischof said there have been multiple players that have surprised him positively with many stepping up their game. One player that will be key in the upcoming season is keeper Sofia Manner. During her first two seasons with the Seawolves, Manner in 2018 was named America East Goalkeeper of the Year. In 2017, she was named conference Rookie of the Year.
“She is one of the best keepers in the conference,” her head coach said. “She is very talented and has a bright future.”
While preparing for the 2019 season has been a focus for Bischof and his coaching staff, he also has spent a great deal of time working on the future of his program. He noted the recruiting efforts have been ongoing and he is pleased with the work that has been done.
“You just can’t be in the now,” he said. “You have to be constantly working on the future and put a strong effort into it. But as the season gets closer we have done a bit less recruiting.”
Bischof said he is pleased with the players that are committed to Stony Brook for the 2020 season and that he is working to bring in some “very talented” players as part of the Class of 2021.
When looking back at his first several months on the job, Bischof said the transition has been smooth with few surprises. He credits his former boss, Hofstra women’s soccer head coach Simon Riddiough, for the work he did to prepare Bischof for a head coaching spot.
“I knew I was ready,” he said. “There have been little challenges here and there, but nothing major. I also have to thank my staff (Shannon Grogan, Jim O’Brien and Scott Leamey) and the support of the administration for the help they have provided.”