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The field of 16 has been reduced to eight teams after the first weekend of the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament. Several athletes from our Fairfield and New Haven County Patch towns are playing key roles in pursuit of a championship.
ROBERT ROTANZ (Westport) Rotanz went to before heading south to Duke. The senior midfielder scored three goals in Saturday's win over Syracuse in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. Rotanz ranks third on the team with 36 goals and 43 total points. He was an All-ACC Academic selection after his junior year.
MATT WHITE (Ridgefield) A two-time All-American at White has been a force for the Virginia Cavaliers. The junior attack ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 15 goals and 13 assists. White is playoff-tested, having been named to the All-NCAA tournament last year as a sophomore after scoring eight goals and chipping in with three assists.
CJ COSTABILE (New Fairfield) Costabile is a long-stick midfielder who excels on face-offs for the Duke Blue Devils. The senior out of New Fairfield has won 119 of 231 (51 percent) of his face-offs. During the regular season, Costabile, who was an All-Academic ACC selection in 2011, scored six goals and had four assists. Costabile scored the game-winning goal against Notre Dame in the 2010 national championship game.
JACK RUNKEL (Fairfield) The sophomore goalie, who prepped at Avon Old Farms, has been a pillar between the pipes for Loyola this season. Runkel has posted a 14-1 overall record with a save percentage of .534. Runkel and Loyola University take on Denver in the second round. Loyola's roster is dotted with several players from the Patch area. PHIL DOBBINS (New Fairfield) is a junior midfielder with the Greyhounds who has a played a key role in the team's success. Dobson scored seven goals and assisted on two others during the regular season. TYLER FOLEY, JUSTIN SHAW, and ALEX YACKERY are all from Darien and trying to help Loyola win the NCAA Championship.
RYAN BENINCASA (Greenwich) Benincasa was part of Virginia's national championship team a year ago and is considered one of the best face-off specialists in the country. The graduate of has won 112 of 200 face-offs (.560 percentage) in 2012. Benincasa and the Cavaliers take on Notre Dame in the second round of the tournament.
Playing on that Fighting Irish team will be DEVON DOBSON. The senior midfielder ranks as the all-time leading scorer in New Milford High School history with 235 goals. His younger brother, Phil, is playing for Loyola in the NCAA tournament. The elder Dobson played in 14 games for Notre Dame during the regular season.
JEFF LEDWICK (Weston) A three-time All-State selection at Ledwick is enjoying a spectacular senior year. The co-captain of Colgate has scored 32 goals and racked up 14 assists to make him the third leading scorer on the team. Joining Ledwick on the Raiders attack is MATT BAKER (Ridgefield). The junior midfielder, who was a first-time All-State selection as a senior at Ridgefield High School, has scored 15 goals while assisting on nine others. MATT YEAGER (Westport) and MATT REYES-GUERRA-DUNN (Wilton) are also on Colgate's tournament roster.
BRONSON KELLY (Easton) The Easton native who went to , played in just five game during the regular season as a freshman for the Blue Jays. Kelly scored 102 goals and added 86 assists during his scholastic career in Connecticut.
Other players from Patch area include: Harley Brown (New Canaan), Aiden and Colin Scott (Ridgefield). All three play for Denver. Charlie Payton (Greenwich) plays for Duke.