RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — The Ridgefield High School boys soccer will have staying power in the state tournament for two reasons, coach Phil Bergen says. And their names are Kent Coleman and Joe DeVivo.
The high-scoring forwards are the central weapons for the Tigers (15-2-1), who earned a share of the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship Tuesday with a 2-0 win over Greenwich. Coleman and DeVivo were in the middle of it, with a goal scored by Coleman and an assist from DeVivo, who was named the game MVP.
“We said in the beginning of the year that this year we have the players to be a good offensive team,’’ said Bergen, who won his first league championship in his nine years at the school. “We said we’re going to take our chances and see how it works. The kids have responded, and it’s great to be rewarded for it.”
Ridgefield has unleashed its weaponry, scoring five or more goals in five games this fall. In one two-game stretch this season, Ridgefield scored 16 goals in wins over Trinity Catholic and Bridgeport Central.
Coleman and DeVivo are similar players, Bergen said, and work well together. “Without them, it’s a whole different game,’’ he said. “Kent was injured during the state tournament last year, and it hurt us. With those two, it’s hard to stop us from scoring goals.”
Bergen led the Tigers to the state championship in 2007, and it would not be surprising to see them make a run this year as well. Ridgefield opens the tournament Thursday against league rival Westhill. Ridgefield, seeded fifth, could face No. 4 Glastonbury in the quarterfinals, and top-seeded Norwalk in the semifinals. If both teams get that far, it could be considered a league championship game, only with much higher stakes.
Coleman and DeVivo are also teammates at the Norwalk-based Beachside Soccer Club, where they have achieved consistent success. Now, they have the distinction of leading the Tigers to their first league title since 2003.
“It feels awesome,’’ DeVivo said. “This is what we’ve been working for all season.”
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