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Liam Butts Key To Penn State Men’s Soccer’s Postseason Success

Penn State men’s soccer played in its first Big Ten Championship final since 2011 Saturday evening against Indiana in Bloomington. Although the close game resulted in a Nittany Lions loss via shootout, the team still had some outstanding performances from key players.

Sophomore striker Liam Butts played a great season, starting it off at No. 21 in the nation in TopDrawerSoccer’s rankings, consistently taking shots, and adding dynamic to Penn State’s attacking force.

The Big Ten semifinals saw Butts land his first goal of the season against Michigan. Later, in the finals, he scored the goal that tied it up against Indiana and gave his team hope that it had a chance to win the game.

Throughout the final against Indiana, Butts and Danny Bloyou were a powerful combined force that threatened Indiana’s defensive line. The two have shown great chemistry on the field throughout the season. We also saw the Butts-Bloyou dynamic against Rutgers when Butts gave the assist to Bloyou, who found the back of the net.

Butts nearly gave the game to Penn State in the first overtime by shooting Penn State’s only shot on goal during 1OT, but Indiana’s keeper saved the shot.

Although Butts hasn’t been finishing his shots until post-season, he still aided in the kind of play that has brought Penn State soccer back to dominating in the Big Ten by setting up Penn State’s offensive line with some great through balls.

Butts will likely be a player to look out for in the NCAA Tournament. He could give Penn State’s offense some steam in the tournament and provide the Nittany Lions with an opportunity to advance to the Sweet Sixteen — something the team hasn’t accomplished since 2014.

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About the Author

Mackenna Yount

Mackenna is a junior food science major from Manitou Springs, Colorado, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She loves food, is addicted to coffee, and can give you random facts or bad jokes that you didn't ask for. Ask her to bake gluten-free goodies so she has an excuse to try out new cupcake flavors. Mackenna can be contacted via Twitter @mackennayount (especially if you want to show off your best dad jokes) or you can shoot her an email at [email protected].

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