Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/29/21 – Staff Report
All-American sophomore midfielder and draw specialist Olivia Dirks (Episcopal Academy) has transferred to North Carolina from Penn State, according to her Instagram page.
Dirks was a First Team IWLCA All-American this year – her first full year of college lacrosse due to the pandemic.
Dirks – the Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year in 2019 – tallied 31 goals, 12 assists, 25 ground balls, 78 draw controls and 18 caused turnovers to earn 2021 Big Ten Midfielder of the Year. She paced the Nittany Lions in draws and caused turnovers, while finishing second in points and goals.
The Media native was a First Team All-Big Ten honoree and a member of the Tewaaraton Award nominees list. She was a two-time Big Ten Midfielder of the Week (3/16, 4/20) and was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on February 23. She won IWLCA Offensive Player of the Week on February 23 for her performance in leading Penn State to a win over No. 7 Maryland.
Dirks recorded 10 multi-point performances this season. She notched a career-high nine points at Rutgers (4/15) with five goals and four assists, both career bests. She also tallied six points, with five goals and an assist, against Maryland (2/21) and six points, with four goals and two assists, against Michigan (3/21).
The sophomore made a major impact in the draw circle this season, including four games with 10 or more draws. Dirks had a career-best 14 at Northwestern on March 13. She also had 12 against Rutgers (2/14) and 10 each against Northwestern (3/11) and Rutgers (4/15). Dirks also had five games with multiple caused turnovers, including four against Maryland (2/21) and three against Michigan (3/21).
Dirks paced the Big Ten and ranked 19th in the nation averaging 6.0 draw controls per game. She was also fifth in the Big Ten in caused turnovers per game (1.38), ninth in goals per game (2.38) and ninth in free-position goals per game (0.62).
Also, Dirks was named a Second Team All-American by Inside Lacrosse and US Lacrosse Magazine. She was also selected First Team All-Region (West/Midwest) by the IWLCA.
Dirks also was among the players announced today by USA Lacrosse that will participate in evaluation camps for the new World Lacrosse Sixes discipline during the Lake Placid (N.Y.) Summit Classic from Aug. 2-4.