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.” 

 

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?