In the days leading up to the No. 17 Maryland field hockey team's contest against Liberty, midfielder Brooke DeBerdine and Flames goalkeeper Allison Schaefer exchanged text messages.
"We'll still talk after the game regardless of the result," DeBerdine said.
"I'm so freaking excited to see you," Schaefer responded.
The former teammates at Penn Manor High School have been friends since elementary school and live on the same street in Millersville, Pennsylvania. They faced each other for the first time in the Terps' 4-1 win Sunday.
Schaefer, a sophomore who has started every game for the Flames this season, looked forward to seeing DeBerdine's role in Maryland's offense.
She quickly learned.
At one point, DeBerdine dribbled through three Liberty defenders and into the Flames' offensive zone. DeBerdine attempted to sneak the ball past Schaefer in net, but her friend denied her effort with a glove save.
While DeBerdine failed to register a goal, her insight on Schaefer's shot-stopping technique helped the Terps score four times.
Still, Schaefer, who started every match as a freshman, finished the afternoon with eight saves.
"Allison has such great technique, and Brooke has great foot speed," Penn Manor coach Matthew Soto said. "Speed against skill. It's a fun matchup."
During the pair's time at Penn Manor, Schaefer said players viewed DeBerdine as the "center of the team" because she was the "super fast one flying down the field." Soto said there were several moments when DeBerdine "fought harder and ran faster than everyone else."
DeBerdine challenged Schaefer at high school practice but similar to Sunday's interaction, there wasn't any back-and-forth conversation or extended glares between the players.
Schaefer said DeBerdine's aggressive attacking approach hasn't changed much since high school, as she showed confidence in battling some of Liberty's top defenders.
While the duo was locked in on their respective sidelines Sunday, the players' competitive edge disappeared after the game. DeBerdine and Schaefer hugged on the field and spoke during the postgame tailgate as if the game hadn't happened.
"It's just fun getting to see familiar faces," DeBerdine said. "Allison, even always in high school, she never gives up. She kept in the game even though it got hard on her. She did well."