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PSU men’s soccer receives USC honor

UNIVERSITY PARK — Three Penn State men’s soccer student-athletes recently earned 2019 All-Region nods from the United Soccer Coaches group.

Aaron Molloy earned a spot on the All-North Region first team while Liam Butts and Brandon Hackenberg earned second team and third team honors, respectively.

Molloy was honored on the first team after earning Third Team All-North Region honors a year ago. The senior midfielder from Dublin, Ireland, had a standout year in 2019 for the Nittany Lions, highlighted by being named Big Ten Midfielder of the Year and a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, the most coveted individual honor in college soccer.

The team captain netted nine goals and added six assists for 24 total points as he helped lead Penn State to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in five years. Molloy is the first Nittany Lion first-team selection since Owen Griffith in 2014.

Butts had a stellar rookie campaign for the Nittany Lions, scoring a tied team-high nine goals with Molloy and adding an assist for 19 total points. The freshman forward from Lawrenceville, Ga., had two multi-goal games, both in Big Ten play, as well as a conference-leading and top-16 national mark five game-winning goals. Butts also earned unanimous Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors.

Hackenberg earns his first-career all-region honors. The redshirt junior defender from Palmyra, Va., started all but one game on the backline for Penn State, helping the defense shut out six opponents in 2019. He added one goal on the season that started the comeback rally for the Nittany Lions against Maryland on Senior Night. Hackenberg intends to return for his final year of eligibility in 2020.

— From Mirror reports

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