Penn State’s Mac O’Keefe, Olivia Dirks Named Tewaaraton Award Nominees
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The lacrosse season is slowly coming to a close, and two Nittany Lions—graduate student Mac O’Keefe and sophomore Olivia Dirks—have played well enough to earn nominations for the Tewaaraton Award.
The Tewaaraton Award recognizes the top male and female college lacrosse player in the nation; it is the most prestigious award in the sport.
The selection committee has named 25 players for both the men’s and women’s game. The committee will then narrow the pool down to five finalists. From here, the recipient of the award will be named at the end of the season.
No Nittany Lion has ever taken home this award since its creation in 2001.
With just one game left in the regular season, O’Keefe has racked up 25 goals and four assists for 29 points, collecting 18 ground balls and causing seven turnovers as well. O’Keefe has had three or more goals in five of the Nittany Lions’ nine contests.
O’Keefe recently broke the NCAA goal record of 212 as he overtook Duke legend Justin Guterding in Penn State’s 14-13 overtime victory over the Michigan Wolverines on April 16. In that same game, O’Keefe scored six goals, including the game-winner with just four seconds left.
This is the second time that O’Keefe has been named a nominee for the award. His first time was back in 2019, the same season he led the NCAA in goals with 78.
After scoring just three goals in seven games last season, Dirks entered her sophomore season looking to make a huge impact, and that is exactly what she did.
She finished the regular season with an impressive 28 goals and 11 assists for 39 points. The midfielder also registered 71 draw controls and forced 17 turnovers.
Dirks has nine multi-point games this season and four games with five or more points. She also has two games of 10 or more draw wins.
Dirks ranks eighth in the Big Ten in points and ninth in goals. She is also fifth in caused turnovers per game with 1.4 and second in the Big Ten with 5.9 draw controls on average.
Her best game of the season came back on April 15 in a 17-16 loss against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Despite the losing effort, Dirks registered career highs with five goals and four assists for a total of nine points.
Alex Rocco is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.