first_imgOn Wednesday, Sean Young received his assignment. In three days, he would make his first start in a Syracuse uniform, against the No. 5 team in the country no less.The defender had yet to even play in a game for SU since transferring from Towson in the offseason, but on Saturday, head coach John Desko would turn to him in an effort to lock down one of the nation’s top scorers, Brandon Benn.“I talked with Coach (Lelan) Rogers and felt he deserved the opportunity, and I think he did a good job of understanding who he was covering,” Desko said. “It was a nice matchup, a guy who had been producing all year long, all those points, so it’s nice to kind of take him out of the game and he did a great job on that, given his great start in an Orange jersey. It’s a lot to ask for.”The sophomore guarded Benn tight throughout, holding the attack to just one goal, 2.6 below his average, as No. 7 Syracuse (4-1, 1-0 Big East) held Johns Hopkins’ (5-2) potent offense in check en route to a 13-8 victory in the Carrier Dome.Young scooped up one ground ball and the lone goal he conceded to Benn came on a rebounded shot. For 60 minutes, the relatively unknown defender performed as well as anyone had against the Blue Jays’ lethal attack.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut Young was no unknown to Benn. A fellow Canadian and Ontario native, Benn grew up playing against Young. While the defender never locked him down to that extent, he knew just how to throw Benn out of a rhythm.“Anytime I went somewhere, he was pretty much right on my gloves the whole time,” Benn said, “so I couldn’t get much breathing room.”It also left less reason for Young to be concerned about his performance against Benn. Facing the man who ranks second in the nation in goals per game, Young could have been left disappointed after the game had the attack bested him in his first career start, just as he’s bested every other defender he’s faced.Instead it was Benn who sat at the podium after the game dejected, and at times at a loss for words.“I was excited and nervous at the same time,” Young said, “but once I settled in, it’s just a game and I just played my game.”His game matches up well with his fellow Canadian’s. It’s a distinctive style that Canadian players tend to play — quick movement, a nose for the ball, and smart shooting — and a style that Young is used to defending.“I’m used to playing people like that because I’m also Canadian, so I’m used to the quick feet and him cutting to the ball,” Young said. “It gave me a lot of confidence.”Benn is the JHU equivalent of Syracuse’s Derek Maltz or Luke Cometti, Desko said, constantly the option Johns Hopkins looks to off the ball. So the first key is to deny him the ball altogether.More important than anything, Young was successful in that. Benn took just three shots, and the best look he got came on that rebound in the fourth quarter.Other than that, Benn was virtually invisible. He launched a shot off the pipe in the third quarter, and that was as close as he got. His only shot on goal was the one that found the back of the net.“I just had to follow him wherever he was on the field,” Young said. “Every time he had his stick up, I would check his stick, just to make sure he was covered at all times because he’s such a great finisher in tight.”For much of the day, Young stayed invisible, too. A ground ball and a 30-second penalty were the sole stats to his name on Saturday. But that was all the Orange needed out of him.Wherever Benn was, Young followed. It kept both their names from being called, but left Young far from an unknown.Said Benn: “I haven’t been really guarded like that in a long time.” Comments Published on March 16, 2013 at 7:19 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img