Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/23/21
From Press Release
The Penn State women’s lacrosse team had two players selected as IWLCA National Players of the Week on Tuesday.
Olivia Dirks (Episcopal Academy) was named the IWLCA Offensive Player of the Week, while Taylor Suplee was selected as IWLCA Defensive Player of the Week. Both players were also honored as Big Ten Players of the Week and Kristin O’Neill repeated as Big Ten Freshman of the Week. All three were major contributors in Penn State’s 15-13 win over No. 7 Maryland on Sunday.
This marks the first time Penn State has won an IWLCA weekly award since Katie O’Donnell was the IWLCA Offensive Player of the Week on April 11, 2018.
Dirks was named IWLCA Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Nittany Lions with six points, including five goals, both career high marks. She added three ground balls, a draw control and four caused turnovers. Dirks tallied four goals in the second half, including Penn State’s final three goals of the game.
With 4:54 remaining in the game, Dirks broke a 12-12 tie with a goal to capitalize on a man-up opportunity. Then with 2:09 to go, Dirks found the net again to put Penn State ahead, 14-13. She then sealed the victory with a snipe with 44 seconds left.
Through two games, Dirks has recorded a team-best seven goals, 13 draw controls and six caused turnovers. She ranks fifth in the nation averaging 3.0 caused turnovers per game. She also sits 19th in goals and 21st in draw controls. Dirks also earned her first career Big Ten weekly honor.
Suplee made 14 saves in the victory over Maryland to earn IWLCA Defensive Player of the Week. She recorded eight saves in the first half. Suplee made five saves on free-position attempts, including two in the final minute of the game. Suplee earned her 17th double-digit save performance of her career and second this season. The sophomore won her second straight Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award and the fourth of her career.
The Maryland native ranks fourth in the nation with 26 saves and fifth averaging 13.0 saves per game. She also leads the nation with 6.0 groundballs after picking up eight against the Terrapins.
O’Neill repeated as Big Ten Freshman of the Week after collecting the honor last week for her performance against Rutgers.
Against Maryland, O’Neill recorded two goals, two assists and two ground balls. She scored Penn State’s first goal of the game on a free-position opportunity and added another later in the first half.
Later in the game, O’Neill assisted on Dirks’ goal with 4:54 remaining to help break a 12-12 tie. O’Neill also assisted on Dirks’ tally with 44 seconds remaining.
The Nittany Lions, led by Head Coach Missy Doherty, are ranked No. 7 in both the IWLCA and Inside Lacrosse Polls after the win over Maryland.
Penn State is off this weekend before returning to action on March 5 and 7 at No. 4/3 Northwestern for a two-game series.