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Greenwich Grad Faces Off for Nation's Top Team

GREENWICH, Conn. – Ryan Benincasa has one national championship under his belt, and he’s hungry for another. The Greenwich High School graduate holds a key role on the top-ranked college lacrosse team in the country, taking faceoffs for defending champion University of Virginia. The Daily Greenwich recently caught up with the senior for the Cavaliers on the phone.

The Daily Greenwich: You’ve been having a great year so far, Ryan, ranking among the top faceoff guys in the nation with a 60 percent faceoff win percentage. How do you feel Virginia is doing so far?

Ryan Benincasa: It’s been a pretty good season so far with a lot of guys returning from a national championship season. We’re getting better and playing hard. We’re not quite where we want to be, but we’re just taking it one game at time.

TDG: You played on a conference champion team and got to the state finals in 2007 with Greenwich. Can you reflect on your time on the Greenwich High team?

RB: We had some pretty talented teams back in high school. I’m still close with a lot of those guys like Jimmy Dunster who plays for UNC now and Jonathan Meyers [with Princeton] and Sean Sutton, who’s one of the captains at Michigan now.

TDG: What was your recruiting process like?

RB: Virginia happened to lose early in the playoffs that year and [Cavaliers head coach] Dom [Starsia] also happened to have a videotape of the MSG Varsity game of the week, which was the [conference] championship game against New Canaan in my junior year. That was the first time Greenwich won that title, and I had a very good game that day and that got Dom to come see me in the state championship that year.

TDG: Being a faceoff guy is kind of a unique position. How did you get to be one of the best in the country?

RB: There was a guy named Charlie Glazer who was the faceoff guy for the undefeated 2006 Virginia team who was from Greenwich. I somehow got his number and called him that summer and asked him to practice with me. He ended up helping me totally retool my technique, and he showed me some moves. I just really bought into it and practiced hard and had a really good season that year.

TDG: You didn’t get taken in the Major League Lacrosse draft in January, but do you still hope to go pro?

RB: Dom told me a couple general managers in the MLL asked about me, so I may end up putting my name in the supplemental draft and see if anyone needs another faceoff guy. I think it would be a really cool experience to try to play in MLL.

Follow Eric Gendron on Twitter for the latest Main Street Connect coverage of Fairfield County sports.

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