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Penn State Women’s Lacrosse’s Olivia Dirks & Kristin O’Neill Collect Big Ten Postseason Honors

Two Penn State women’s lacrosse stars have earned Big Ten postseason honors.

Olivia Dirks was named Big Ten Midfielder of the Year and Kristin O’Neill claimed the conference’s Freshman of the Year, the Big Ten announced Monday.

Dirks, an All-Big Ten First Team selection, recorded a total of 31 goals, 12 assists, 25 ground balls, 78 draw controls, and 18 caused turnovers throughout the 2021 season. Her draw controls helped take the Nittany Lions down the field to make big plays on offense.

Dirks was also nominated for the Tewaaraton Award watch list, and was named a two-time Big Ten Midfielder of the Week on March 16 and April 20. She was awarded the IWLCA Offensive Player of the week on February 23 as well for her amazing performance against Maryland that led the team to a big upset.

Dirks led the Big Ten and ranked 22nd in the nation averaging six draw controls per game, fifth for turnovers per game (1.38), 10th in goals per game (2.38), and ninth in free position goals per game (0.62).

The freshman O’Neill made a clear impact for the Nittany Lions, as she won five out of nine Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards. She has also been named a All-Big Ten Second Team selection for her performance in the 2021 season.

O’Neill recorded multiple points in 10 out 13 games for Penn State, including nine multi-goal efforts. She also came up big in the wins against Maryland, tallying four points in each game against the Terrapins.

The Nittany Lions went 4-9 this season, but attacker Maria Auth and defender Sammy Helgeson were also named All-Big Ten Second Team selections with O’Neill.

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About the Author

Sarah Sacker

Sarah is a senior majoring in journalism and a writer for Onward State. She is from Annapolis, Maryland, and is a huge fan of the Ravens and Capitals. Follow her on Twitter @Sarah_Sacker8 or email her at [email protected]

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