Richie Sparling who has coached the women’s team for the last two years and was the 2018 Mid Atlantic Co-Conference Coach of the Year, has relinquished the role of coach and is now in seminary in Lancaster. His and his wife Gabrielle’s investment into the players’ lives will be missed, but Torch FC is pleased to announce the hiring of former Torch player, Melissa Kornock Lollar.
Melissa graduated from North Penn High school in 2007 where she was a 4-year starter and 2-year captain, earning 3 All League selections and an All-State selection. She continued her career at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and became a 4-year starter and 2-year captain. She was named to All-PSAC teams 3 times as well as All-Atlantic Region team 2 times. She currently stands in the top 5 in IUP history of career points.
Melissa was a player for the Torch in the Women’s inaugural year (2009) and played for 5 seasons with the Torch (2009-2013). Since her last season with the Torch, Melissa has continued to play in local leagues and has worked leading young players in a variety of programs. She worked at a variety of soccer camps and after school programs, and just completed her first year as the Girls’ Varsity Soccer head coach at Faith Christian Academy in Sellersville where she hopes to help rebuild a girls’ soccer program that had diminished in recent years.
She is married to Jason Lollar (Torch 2011, 2012) who currently serves as the Director of Student Ministries at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA.
“I can’t tell you how excited we are to have Melissa join the Torch coaching staff. She became a Christian and met her husband as a result of her participation in the program. With her first hand understanding of the Torch philosophy and extensive experience in soccer as a player and trainer, I am confident that she will do a fantastic job,” Rich Sparling, Torch Sports Ministry President.
Torch FC announced in January that the club will be holding NPSL and WPSL tryouts on Saturday April 7 at Pennridge High School stadium, 1228 N. Fifth Street, Perkasie, PA, starting at 11:30 a.m. Torch FC head coach Rich Sparling will be joined by Torch Sports Ministry staff and coaches. The tryout will also be opened to the media and public.
The tryout will feature NPSL & WPSL pace small-sided drills, a free lunch, scrimmages and instructions about final rosters spots. This event registration fee will be $50 and will help cover Under Armour long sleeved tee, secondary health insurance and administration fees.
All interested players must register at www.torchsportsministry.org/player-application by March 24th to reserve your t-shirt size. Along with registration, all participants will have to check-in with staff on the day of the event beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Select roster spots will be offered to players to join the Torch FC.
About Torch FC
BuxMont Torch FC men’s team play in the National Premier Soccer League which is ProAm and is the 4th tier of USA men’s soccer. The women compete in the Women’s Premier Soccer League which also is ProAm and is the 3rd tier of USA women’s soccer.
Home games are played at Pennridge High School Stadium in Perkasie, PA that has a capacity of 2,000 spectators. Players are encouraged to use the platform of sports to share about their faith after matches and summer soccer camps.
Torch Sports Ministry is a ministry that was established during the summer of 2009 which utilizes sport as a means to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to disciple and train sports ministers. We are a ministry of CrossWorld and partners with Push the Rock and are located in Upper Bucks-Montgomery-Lehigh Counties, PA.
Buxmont Torch drew 2-2 on June 25th in a highly competitive and contested Keystone conference match where playoff spots are currently up for grabs. West Chester United got the better of the possession in the first 20 minutes with Torch FC looking dangerous on the counter with the speedy outside mids Thiago Dos Santos and Dominic Powers offering great width on the left side. After the first 20 minutes the game started to become more physical when out of counter attack winger Thiago Dos Santos in the 22′ minute received a layoff from forward Phil Shafer and with not much pressure blasted a 30 yard shot off the near post and into the net stunning the West Chester defense. After this period Torch FC started to gain momentum and combine with some nice intricate passes in the midfield and forwards. However, in the 30th minute the Torch were forced to make a change after forward Phil Shafer pulled up with a groin strain after a long run down the line and had to leave the match making way for Brazilian forward and leading scorer Pedro Souza. After the substitution the game became more physical and animated with a dangerous challenge made on winger Thiago dos Santos near the end of the 1st half. However, the Torch added a second goal when forward Pedro Souza took a shot from the top of the 18 yard box which was saved but to a wide open Mitchell Robinson who tapped in the rebound for his first goal of the season. After this second goal the Torch went into halftime with a deserved lead.
The second half brought in two quick goals from West Chester United in the first five minutes. West Chester who came out with a renewed spirit scored in the 48th minute with a through ball to Jake Lister who finished off a half volley shot with aplomb into the corner past the outreached hands of goalkeeper Matt Palmer. Then, after conceding just minutes later West Chester added a second with a very similar play with a through ball being played on the ground to Francisco Palma who took a shot which deflected into the net in the 51st minute leaving the Torch stunned. After the quick barrage of attack from West Chester the Torch settled down and regained much more possession.
As the second half progressed the game opened up dramatically with end-to-end action and a couple of yellow cards from both teams, Torch FC outside back Matthew Giudice picked up a booking for a foul outside the box in the 72nd minute and a few minutes later (#6 for West Chester) received a yellow for impeding a dangerous run made by outside back Will Woodfin who could have been through for a dangerous counter attack in the 75th minute. After this series of action, the game settled down and the teams settled for a 2-2 draw not without a late chance by West Chester who in the 86th minute almost capitalized on a defensive error made by Torch FC.
Match Report by: Phil Shafer
Photo Credit: Joey Weever
Match Report: Buxmont Torch FC vs. West Chester United
Date: Sunday June 25, 2017
Weather: 78 F Partly Cloudy
Upcoming matches: Torch FC (4-2-2) remain in 3rd place and will travel to St. John Vianney High School in Trenton, NJ to take on 1st place New Jersey Copa FC (5-1-2) at 7pm on July 1st. Meanwhile West Chester FC (5-1-2) with tonight’s result falls to second place and will take on Greater Binghamton FC (0-8-0) at Visions field in Binghamton, NY.
Man of the Match: Thiago dos Santos / Midfielder
Torch FC Line-up: Goalkeeper #0 Matt Palmer, Right Back #10 Matthew Giudice, Center Back #21 Jeremiah Mateola (46′ #27 Tyler Smith) Center Back #3 Joshua Coupar, Left Back #5 Will Woodfin, Center Midfield #12 Khalil Karl, Center Midfield #17 Phil Hagerty (73′ #13 Jake Rudloff), Right Mid #11 Thiago Dos Santos, Left Mid #2Dominic Powers (71′ #20 Kenny Varady, 88′ #4 Cody Gangaware), Attacking Midfield #8 Mitchell Robinson (65′ #15 Cody Boerema), Forward #7 Phil Shafer (31′ #25 Pedro Souza)
The Buxmont Torch added a fantastic 4-2 win over Junior Lone Star FC from Philadelphia, PA to keep playoff hopes alive.
The Torch were highly motivated from the beginning and it was evident in the style of play this evening. From the beginning the Torch put pressure on The stars. In the 3rd minute forward Phil Shafer played a nicely weighted through ball to outside back Phill Hagerty who took the ball alone into the box where he was fouled by a Lone Star defender. Captain Khalil Karl moments later converted from the PK spot to give the Torch an early lead. Even after the early goal the Torch kept up the pressure and kept possession well until Northeast conference Star Anthony Allison scored in the 13th minute. Allison received a weighted ball over the top and finished a 1 v 1 against goalkeeper Matt Palmer.
After this goal the game evened out with both teams having a similar amount of possession and a few half chances being created most notably in the 25th minute when forward Anthony Allison latched onto a bad back pass to Matt Palmer who made a terrific save to deny Allison his second of the night. Towards the end of the half the Torch went more physical against the stars and nearly capitalized on several long throw-ins and free kicks. In the 41st minute Outside back Matthew Giudice threw in the ball deep into the Lonestar defensive end where it found the head of Forward Phil Shafer who knocked the ball down to Midfielder Phil Hagerty inside the box whose shot struck the Arm of the Lone Star defender but no penalty kick was awarded.
The second half saw a completely different tone to the first. The pace of the game was much slower and fewer chances were created. The play also became highly physical with several aerial battles and many fouls being committed. In the 63rd minute forward Anthony Allison of Junior Lone Star who was dangerous all night behind the Torch FC backline converted on another 1 V 1 against Torch Goalkeeper Matt Palmer. Shortly after, Torch FC turned on the pressure and received many free kicks in dangerous areas but Junior Lone Star remained resolute on defense. Later into the second half Torch FC coach Rich Sparling made several changes and brought in fresh legs and the floodgates opened with three goals being scored in a 7 minute period.
The first of which was scored by Midfielder Joey Weaver who received a lovely pass out wide from midfielder Phil Hagerty and finished the ball with a low right footed shot underneath the Lone Star keeper. Just minutes later Torch FC scored again in the 86th minute after outside back Matthew Giudice made a heroic run beating several Lone Star players to calmly slot a pass back to forward Pedro Souza who finished the shot calmly into the lower left corner for his fourth goal of the season and fourth game winning goal. The Torch put the icing on the cake when in the 90th minute Pedro Souza was brought down in the box where captain Khalil Karl finished from the spot for his second goal of the game.
Moments later the referee blew the final whistle. The 4-2 win improves Torch FC to a 4-2-1 record and propels them to 3rd place where Junior Lone Star drops to 3-4-0 dropping them into 6th position in a highly competitive Keystone conference with just three games remaining for both teams.
Upcoming Matches: Buxmont Torch hosts first place West Chester SC (5-1-1) Sunday June 25th at 6PM at PennRidge High School.
Junior Lonestar (3-4-0) travels to Millerville University to take on Seventh place Hershey FC (2-5-0)
Final: Buxmont Torch 4 x Junior Lone Star FC 2
Location: PennRidge High School Perkasie, PA 7PM
Weather: 80 F, Mostly Sunny
Goals: Khalil Karl (4’PK, 90’PK), Pedro Souza (86′), Joey Weever (83′)
Starting Line-up: Cody Boerema, Khalil Karl, Matthew Giudice, Matt Palmer, Tyler Smith, Will Woodfin (Cody Gangaware 38′), Joshua Coupar, Phil Hagerty (Joey Weever 77′), Kenny Varady (Dominic Powers 46′), Phil Shafer (Pedro Souza 67′), Mitchel Robinson (Jake Rudloff 61′)
Report written by: Phil Shafer / Torch FC
Photo Credit: Fernando DeSouza / Torch FC
Season summary for the Torch FC men’s team.
After losing 4-1 against Junior Lone Star in Torch FC’s season opener, the Torch men rebounded in a 4 game winning streak before losing in the 88′ minute to Hershey FC on June 17th at Pennridge High School. The loss was Torch FC’s first home loss in 2017 and placed Torch FC in fourth place behind Clarkstown Eagles (10pts) in the Keystone Conference standings.
On Wednesday, June 21st, Torch FC (10pts) will battle for three more points in a must win match against a strong Junior Lone Start (9pts) that sits in 5th place in the standings behind the Torch FC.
“This will be a tough match for us tonight”, said assistant coach Fernando DeSouza. “With the loss of our attacking midfielder David Shafer to the roster and coming off a last minute goal by Hershey last weekend is taking a toll on the team. But I am confident in character of our guys and that will be displayed on the field in tonights match”
After tonights game, Torch FC will have to secure another 3 points this weekend from the number 1 team in the standing West Chester United Predators (16pts). This match will be Torch FC men’s team last home game of the 2017 season and will take place at Pennridge High School.
Torch FC will be finishing off the 2017 season with two away games at Electric City Scranton and New Jersey Copa in the month of July.
Torch FC today announced the disappointing departure of David Shafer after suffering a season ending injury during practice on June 15th.
Shafer scored three goals and tallied two assists in four games played in 2017. He is a strong attacking midfielder with professional qualities and strengths. Torch FC without Shafer is 0-1-1 with one loss and one tie. Shafer’s game presence will be missed in the next 4 remaining matches of the 2017 season.
Assistant Coach Fernando DeSouza had some words of encouragement to say, “David is a great athlete and he will be back stronger and more determined. He is still young at only 21 and has many years to show the soccer world his best.”
The Torch Sports Ministry organization wants to wish David a speedy recovery and success in all his future endeavors.