Two sets of sisters from the Lancaster-Lebanon League will square off in field hockey’s biggest collegiate stage today.
The NCAA Division I Final Four matchup will have Penn Manor siblings Brooke and Emma DeBerdine on the University of Maryland Terrapins’ side against the Liberty University Flames’ Maddie and Lexi Hosler from Manheim Central.
Although Penn Manor and Central did not face each other often in high school, all four athletes remember each other.
“They are fast,” Liberty senior Maddie Hosler said of the DeBerdines. “I know they are in the midfield and forward line, so I am excited to go up against them. It's always good competition against them, and I respect them as players.”
“The DeBerdines are really good,” agreed Lexi, a sophomore. “They are very crafty with their skills. One thing I always remember is they are very quick, so that is going to be really important for us to stay disciplined.”
Emma DeBerdine, who in addition to scoring six goals as a junior led Maryland in assists with eight, said that she and her sister are aware of the Hosler duo.
“We followed them,” she said. “They were always great competitors growing up in high school, so I think it’s always very special for them to be sisters going in. They are probably having a similar experience. They are two great players and definitely have the special bond that we have. We are excited to play them.”
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Donegal’s Cassy Stauffer fights off Manheim Central’s Maddy Hosler (16) and Maisie Dorwart (27) for possession of the ball.
Manheim Central's Maddie Hosler (L) and Donegal's Cassy Stauffer battles for the ball as Manheim Central's Lex Hosler looks on in the first half during a PIAA Class 2A field hockey quarterfinal game at Comet Field in Millersville on Saturday, November 11, 2017.
Donegal's Amanda Beck (L) and Manheim Central's Maddie Hosler battle for the ball in the first half during a PIAA Class 2A field hockey quarterfinal game at Comet Field in Millersville on Saturday, November 11, 2017.
Maddie Hosler of Manheim Central, Section 2 field hockey all-star on Thursday, November 9, 2017.
Manheim Central’s Maddie Hosler looks to clear the ball after a clutch defensive stand against Donegal Saturday.
Manheim Central’s Maddie Hosler steals the ball from Donegal’s Rachael Overlander.
Manheim Central's Maddie Hosler and Eva Garber work in the circle against Elizabethtown's Brynn Mock and goalie Rachel Sweger on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. SUZETTE WENGER | Staff Photographer
Manheim Central's Maddie Hosler, works against Garden Spot's Caitlin Nelson (71) and Bryn Nelson (19), on Wednesday, September 16, 2015. SUZETTE WENGER | Staff Photographer
Taylor Wiederrecht (7) and Maddie Hosler (right) of Manheim Central get tangled up with Shayna Landis (10) of Lancaster Mennonite while battling for the ball during the District 3 Field Hockey Playoff on Saturday afternoon at Comet Field in Millersville.
The Barons' Maddie Hosler, left, works down the field against the Blazers' Kindsey Kreider.
from left, MC Sara Ober, LM Kaylor Rossenberry, MC BJ Bollinger, Maddie Hosler, LM Kara Leaman, MC Morgan Wagner and Hannah Barbush
Manheim Central's Lexi Hosler moves the ball during a District 3 Class 2A field hockey quarter final game at Lower Dauphin Middle School in Hummelstown Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. Manheim Central was defeated by East Pennsboro 6-0 in the game.
Manheim Central's Lexi Hosler dribbles downfield at Comet Field in Millersville, PA on October 15, 2019.
Lexi Hosler of Manheim Central, Section 2, L-L field hockey all-star at the L-L League Field Hockey All-Star Banquet on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018.
Manheim Central's Lexi Hosler prepares to make a backhand pass to a teammate at Donegal High School in Mount Joy, PA on October 24, 2018.
Donegal's Lily Saunders (10) works against Manheim Central's Maddy Barbush (13) Maisie Dorwart (27) and Lexi Hosler (20) on Wednesday, September 27, 2018.
The foursome will square off at noon with the survivors taking on the winner between Northwestern and Harvard in Sunday’s championship game – all at the University of Michigan.
How to watch
The Friday games, Maryland-Liberty at noon and Harvard-Northwestern at 3 p.m., will be televised on ESPN+.
Sunday's final, which is at 2 p.m., will be aired on ESPNU.
It is the third trip to the Final Four for Brooke DeBerdine, a fifth-year senior and two-time all-Big Ten selection. She is hoping for a better outcome this year.
“It’s obviously our goal every year,” she said. “My freshman and sophomore year we came and advanced to the national championship but ended up losing both. We are definitely coming back and we have our sights on our goal of a national championship.”
While her sister has been to this level of competition before, this is Emma’s first time as a player.
“I got to come to the Final Four to watch Brooke play her freshman and sophomore year(s) and it’s always been a goal that we’ve talked about going together,” Emma said. “It’s very special to be able to have this experience and be on the field together these last few times.”
Sharing the field with their sister is something both sets of siblings cherished through high school and college.
“She gave me a lot of advice, but I just think you can never take it for granted,” said Lexi. “Now I'm possibly two games away from being done playing with her. It’s been a great experience.”
“To be on the field with Emma has always been special and to end our careers playing in my last season together at Maryland, hopefully in the national championship, is just amazing,” Brooke DeBerdine said. “It’s definitely a proud moment for us and our family.”
However, that doesn’t mean sibling rivalries do not still exist.
“It’s fun and competitive,” said Maddie Hosler. “I don't ever want to lose a 1-v-1 with her, just for pride. “But I can give her constructive criticism and she can give me some. We both respect each other enough to take that in and fix what we need to for each other.”
In addition to the siblings, Conestoga Valley grad Ellie Livingston is at Liberty, appearing in one game this season.
Still, having five alumni on Final Four rosters raises the question, how good is the Lancaster-Lebanon League in field hockey?
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Brooke DeBerdine Under-21 team
Penn Manor’s Brooke DeBerdine moves the ball during the L-L League championship on October 20, 2016. On Friday, the midfielder was named to USA Field Hockey's Under-21 team.
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Penn Manor's Brooke DeBerdine (8) works against Emmaus' Kira koehler (14) during the 3A field hockey semifinals on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.
Penn Manor's Brooke DeBerdine, right, and Conestoga's Sophie Grove battle for the ball during the PIAA Class 3A field hockey quarterfinals on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, at Exeter Township High School in Reading.
Brooke DeBerdine of Penn Manor, Section 1, L-L field hockey all-star head shots on Thursday, November 10, 2016.
3A Field Hockey Quarterfinals
Comet Brooke DeBerdine controls the ball against Warwick's Katie Pyle.
3A Field Hockey Quarterfinals
Penn Manor's Brooke DeBerdine weaves through traffic.
Penn Manor’s Brooke DeBerdine moves the ball during a game last month. DeBerdine scored the game-winning goal Wednesday as the Comets beat Lower Dauphin 1-0 and punched their ticket to the district final.
PM vs WARWICK FH 11.jpg
Penn Manor's Brooke DeBerdine, center is guarded by Warwick's Haley Miller (6) and Madaylyn Christen, right, on Tuesday, October 18, 2016.
PIAA Field Hockey
Penn Manor's Brooke DeBerdine tries to check the ball away from Unionville's Katie Anderson during the first half of their PIAA Field Hockey quarterfinal game at Twin Valley High School in Elverson on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. The Comets won with a 5-3 victory.