Chase Young thriving off the bench for the Wolverines
In its 9-7 victory over Bellarmine on Tuesday afternoon, the Michigan men’s lacrosse team saw many contributors rise to the occasion to help the team start the season 2-0. Despite registering just one assist, perhaps no player was more impactful than defensive midfielder Chase Young.
After coming off the bench, the junior scored his second point of the 2018 season on an assist to Parker McKee.
Though he didn’t trot onto the field with the starters, Michigan coach Kevin Conry clarified that Young is still an indispensible member of the team, and is essentially a starter in every way but title.
“He plays pretty much the whole game,” Conry said when asked about Young’s status as a reserve. “I don’t know if we can increase his playing time.”
Young, who was named the team’s 2015 Freshman of the Year, is easily one of the Wolverines’ fastest players, as he routinely sprinted and weaved his way past Knights defenders to help set up offensive opportunities for his teammates.
He was also fantastic on the defensive side of the ball. Young stood tall when the ball crossed Michigan’s side of the field and led a defensive unit that allowed just seven goals. Young spoke about his efforts on fastbreaks after the win, noting that his ability to improvise is a big reason for his success in that area.
“I’m really just trying to think on the fly and get the ball to the attackmen and see what they can do with it,” Young said. “It’s definitely something I look forward to.”
Young’s ability to create chances for the Wolverines makes him one of the team’s most important players despite being a reserve. His vision in the open field helped Michigan find easy scoring chances to provide a cushion in what ended up being a tight contest.
Young says that he knows his role on the team and simply does his job when Conry calls his number, finding pride in the fact that his coach sees him as a figure that can help spark the team.
“I’m just playing defense,” he said. “I definitely like how coach calls upon me to fill a spark for the team, and I just do to make sure that we’re dialed in at all time.”
Despite Bellarmine being a relatively weak squad on paper, Young still believes that the victory is something that Michigan should be proud of.
“When it comes down to it, it’s tough to get a ‘W’ in college lacrosse,” Young said. “We take this one just like we take any ‘W.’ ”
While the season can be a long and tumultuous roller coaster of emotions filled with triumph and defeat, it appears that Young has cemented his role in Conry’s system as a do-it-all player. Conry believes that his unique skill set on both sides of the field can help him become one of the best short stick midfielders in the country.
Only time will tell if his prediction comes true, but one thing is for sure: We haven’t seen the last of Chase Young, who figures to serve as an impact player on an exciting, young Michigan squad.