Young brings physical style of play to Syracuse defense

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Among his teammates, Sean Young is referred to as the “Mean Canadian.”It’s a playful term that endears him to the rest of the Syracuse players, but is also derived from a very serious aspect of his game.The sophomore — who attended high school in Ontario — gets his nickname from a physical in-game persona more than a stoic off-field personality.“It’s a mentality of me and growing up,” Young said, with a noticeable cut marking the upper portion of his nose. “I just grew an attraction to those sports. Contact sports.”Young’s physical on-field approach has helped him, and the Orange defense, this season. He has collected 10 ground balls, and is tied for second on the team with seven caused turnovers.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd even though the former football player has had to make a conscious effort to scale back his physicality this season — with the refs having a tighter whistle — he’s been a defensive asset for a team that has played a lot of it.“It is important to have someone like that,” SU head coach John Desko said. “You don’t want guys cutting and running and scoring in close to the goal without being down to the ground after getting hit.“You want to make sure they pay a price for going in there.”When SU played Notre Dame on March 29, it was the Orange that almost paid the price. Young put Syracuse in a man-down position just minutes into the fourth quarter when he was called for an illegal body check while pouncing on a ground ball.Young said that officials are making more calls like that this season, and the Notre Dame mishap was just an untimely mistake.“I feel like I have to be smarter, because especially this year, they’re trying to clean up the game,” Young said. “I definitely have to be smarter about where I pick my opportunities to play physical and where not to.”Growing up, if he wasn’t playing one contact sport, he was playing another.At the Hill Academy in Ontario, Young was a safety and wide receiver on the football team. He said that even though football added various skills to his lacrosse game, the latter is different.But even with his football background, he knows he has to be smarter about how to use his aggression and physicality.“You know that you need to play defense,” SU defender Brandon Mullins said, who also played football in high school. “You know that you have to be mean sometimes. You got to be able to play physical and hit people when you need to.”On Tuesday, Syracuse will travel to Ithaca to face No. 2 Cornell. Dan Lintner — the Big Red’s top scoring attack — also went to Hill Academy, and may very well be guarded by Young.Although Lintner graduated before Young started playing lacrosse, he knows his game well enough to agree that the “Mean Canadian” fits Young well. He’s also well aware of the challenge his defensive capabilities present.“He’s a big guy, so he’s definitely got that to his advantage,” Lintner said. “I’m not really the biggest guy, so I’m definitely going to have some different sort of tactics to get around the size disadvantage.”Young’s size is certainly an advantage on defense, but also may be one of the reasons he’s had to dilute his in-game physicality to some extent this season.Even with the slight change in approach, Young has no qualms with filling a role that Desko and his teammates agreed is integral to the team.“If that’s my role,” Young said. “I’ll take it, sure. Whatever we need to do for the win.” Comments Published on April 7, 2014 at 12:30 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3last_img read more