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Four Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Stars Earn All-Big Ten Honors

Penn State’s women’s lacrosse had four players earn All-Big Ten selections on Thursday, bringing the Nittany Lions up to 26 All-Big Ten selections since joining the conference in 2015.

The four All-Big Ten selections were midfielder Olivia Dirks, attacker Maria Auth, defender Sammy Helgeson, and midfielder Kristin O’Neill.

Dirks was selected unanimously as a first-team All-Big Ten selection after having a huge impact on the Nittany Lions’ success in the regular season. Dirks leads Penn State with 71 draws, 17 caused turnovers, 28 goals, and 11 assists entering Thursday’s NCAA Tournament matchup against Johns Hopkins.

During the regular season, Dirks had nine multi-point games and four games with five or more points. She currently ranks at eight in the Big Ten with 39 points and ninth in goals with 28. She has been a huge presence this season on the draw as well and has won 10 or more draw controls in four games this season.

Dirks was named Big Ten Midfielder of the Week twice throughout the season and earned the IWLCA and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on February 23.

Auth earned her second career All-Big Ten honor on Tuesday, making the Second Team All-Big Ten. Auth lead the Nittany Lions in goals this season with 33 and racking up 43 points. Her presence did not go unnoticed on the attack as she had 11 multi-point games and eight multi-goal games this season.

Auth is fourth in the Big Ten in points and fifth in goals. She received her career-high against Rutgers by scoring seven goals against the Scarlet Knights. She currently sits at seventh place all-time at Penn State with 159 goals (sixth all-time) and 64 assists (11th all-time).

Five-time winning Big Ten Freshman of the Week Kristin O’Neill was also named for the second-team All-Big Ten. She too had a significant impact on the team this season.

O’Neill is tied in third place with 29 goals among the Division 1 freshmen and ranks fifth in goals per game (2.42). She had 10 multi-goal games this season and is also tied seventh among rookies in points (37). O’Neill will be an exciting player to keep tabs on in the next coming seasons.

Lastly, defensive senior Sammy Helgeson earned her first career Second Team All-Big Ten recognition. A strong player on the Nittany Lions defense, she alone has caused eight turnovers and collected 12 ground balls.

Helgeson is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and 2020 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, making her presence off the field just as impressive.

The No. 20 Nittany Lions will host the Big Ten Tournament, which begins Thursday. The Nittany Lions face No. 13 Johns Hopkins at 8 p.m. on Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Sarah Sacker

Sarah is a junior majoring in journalism and a writer for Onward State. She is from Annapolis, Maryland, and is a huge fan of the Ravens and Capitals. If not hanging with friends you can catch Sarah playing XBOX, Assassin's Creed/Modern Warfare gang, or binging a new TV show with her roommates. Follow her on Twitter @Sarah_Sacker8 or email her at [email protected]

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