WPSL Action – Torch FC Ladies unbeaten at home

Women’s Torch FC (5-1-2) earn six more points at home beating Philly fever 5-2 on Wednesday evening and 1-0 against a strong Lehigh Valley Tempest side.   

Coach Richie Sparling said after the win, “The girls had more confidence on ball and played better tonight than this past weekend. We are confident in our formation as long as we continue to play hard we will win games.”

Philly Fever Game Report

Torch FC had control of the match and at times looked strong on the ball creating more chances for shots on goal than Philly Fever. The first goal for the Torch FC ladies came early the game by Sierra Beal. Philly Fever responded well after going down 1-0 and had some nice opportunities in front of the net. Eventually in the 31’ Fever tied it up to a 1-1 score.  

Not long after, Caitlyn Hayes scored to make it a 2-1 and Erin Stevenson hit a beautiful shot outside the box to lead Torch FC into the half up 3-1. 

The final score of the game was 5-2 for the Torch FC Ladies.

After a tough away weekend it was good to be back at Pennridge High School and get a win. Caitlyn Hayes said after the game, “We just listened to Coach Richie during training and we put into practice the things that he instilled in us, and we didn’t do that last two games. ”

Torch FC midfielder Sierra Beal said, “We focused on working better together as a team moving the ball and just unifying us in practice yesterday, it really helped us get back. As long as we continue to play together and play our soccer we will do well”

The Torch FC ladies now are in 2nd place in the WPSL standings. Note: The top team in the division will go to the playoffs. The ladies need to secure a win on July 8th rematch against the number 1 Penn Fusion side.

Next match against Hershey FC is on Sunday June 25th at 3PM.

Goals: BT – Sierra Beal, Caitlyn Hayes, Erin Stevenson, Gabrielle Farrell

Final: Philly Fever 2  x  Torch FC 5

Final: LV Tempest 0 x Torch FC 1

Goals: BT – Gabrielle Farrell

For more information on match reports, contact Torch Sports Ministry, Marketing and Media Relations at torch@torchsportsministry.org



BuxMont Torch FC women’s team play in the pro/am Women’s Premier Soccer League. Home games are played at Pennridge High School Stadium in Perkasie, PA and 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.


3 game winning goals for Pedro Sousa Torch FC to defeat Clarkstown Eagles

Pedro Sousa scored the winning goal in a 2-1 win for Buxmont Torch. Man of the Match goal keeper Matt Palmer had a impressive performance to only allow 1 goal and 7 saves.

The Clarkstown Eagles traveled to Perkasie, PA with their top select team and showed much better side and play than the home side. Eagles controlled the game for the first 70 minutes, moving the ball effortlessly and scoring 2 times only to be waived off by officials for offsides. The Eagles defended much of the game only allowing less then a handful of shots by the front line of the Torch.

Man of the Match – Matt Palmer – Photo by Matt Ralph

Only one of the Shafer brothers made the game day roster on Saturday evening for the Torch. Phil Shafer for the second time this season missed a game for due to health reasons. David Shafer showed signs of an ankle injury that occurred late into the match against Greater Binghamton and had to be substituted in the 64′ minute. Also due to injuries Khalil Karl did not play this match.

The first waive of subs was made by coach Sparling at the start of the second-half. A total of 6 substitution came in giving the home side a fresh look on the field. Tyler Smith, Pedro Sousa, Nick Marculo, Cody Gangaware, Jake Rudloff and Kenny Varady

The substitutions created a more possession style game for the home side and allowed Joshua Coupar to move into a center midfield position. Clarkstown did not have an answer and Torch pushed through with the first goal of the second half in the 70′ minute by left-mid Cody Gangaware. The goal did not stop Clarkstown Eagles strong presence in the field attacking wide and creating more shots on goal. Eagles broke through the defense for a goal only to be waived off by another offsides call.

The game picked up in the last 15 minutes for the Torch side controlling much of the midfield playing a more controlled soccer then the prior 75 minutes. Nick Marculo and Josh Coupar did much of the work in the middle when a through ball from Kenny Varady ended up in a collision by the Eagles goal keeper and defender that left Pedro Sousa all alone to walk into the six and score the game winning goal.

Take away: Clarkstown Eagles were the better side and the better team today with impressive starting eleven. The Buxmont Torch have a deep enough bench and grit to take down the top teams in the division. Technically, Clarkstown controlled much of the possession and created more chances to score.

Starters: Matt Palmer, Joshua Coupar, Dominic Powers, Jeremiah Mateola, Mitchell Robinson, David Shafer, Will Woodfin, Phil Hagerty, Thiago Dos Santos, Cody Boerema, Matthew Giudice

Substitutions: Cody Gangaware, Tyler Smith, Nick Marculo, Kenny Varady, Pedro Sousa

Man of the Match: Goal Keeper Matt Palmer


Game Replay


Torch FC Men finish the week with 4 points and the first shutout of the season

A hard fought match ends in a draw in West Chester and 1 point for both teams

Photo credit Matt Ralph

Torch FC traveled to West Chester, PA on May 31st to face the undefeated West Chester United  on a beautiful Wednesday evening game that proved to be a defensive feat for both sides.

The play on the field was neck and neck till the final whistle. Both teams had scoring opportunities, starting off with much of the possession leaning towards West Chester abusing the space on the right side flank and forcing Torch FC to make a tactical change from the bench when Will Woodfin replaced defensive right-back Kenny Varady.

After the change, Torch FC’s defense came up big with Matthew Guidice, Joshua Coupar, Will Woodfin and Jeremiah Mateola not giving the wingers much space to make penetrations into the box eliminating the Predators shots on goal.

Early in the second half a cross from the left side ended up next to Thiago Dos Santos where he volleyed the ball into the left corner of the goal. West Chester’s goal keeper come up big with a dive to his right to hit the ball wide for a corner kick.

Torch FC showed their strengths in the transition game from the back to the outside wingers. The attack finally broke into the defense in the second-half when Phil Hagerty moved up into attacking-mid causing trouble defense line into the final third to come away with goal scoring opportunities. West Chester had a disciplined back line and minimized mistakes and did not give much space to work the ball.

Late in the 80th minute,  Torch FC thought they had a penalty opportunity in the box,  the non call came from a rough challenge on top of the 18 where Dos Santos ended up on the ground with many of the Torch players pleading for a call from the referee.

Matt Palmer, Torch FC goal keeper and Man of the Match nominee came up with an amazing sliding save late in the game, cutting off a scoring opportunity from West Chester that end up with a scrappy high cross over the back post.

The next match for  the Torch FC men’s team will be on Sunday 4:30PM at Pennridge High School in Perkasie, PA.  The next 4 games will all be at home and please visit our schedule  www.torchsportsministry.org for more information.

Man of the Match: GK Matt Palmer, Big saves down the stretch for a 0-0 draw

Goal: 0

Starting Lineup: #0 Matt Palmer, #3 Joshua Coupar, #20 Kenny Varady (46′ #5 Will Woodfin), #10 Matt Giudice, #25 Pedro Sousa (66′ #15Nick Marculo),  #11 Thiago Dos Santos, #21 Jeremiah Mateola, #17 Phillip Hagerty, #2 Dominic Powers, #2 Khalil Karl, #8 Mitchell Robinson (14’#15 Cody Boerema , 69′ Cody Gangaware)

Subs: #15 Cody Boerema, #15Nick Marculo, #4 Cody Gangaware, #5 Will Woodfin

Torch FC earns 3 points on the road and first victory of the 2017 season

Torch FC (1,1) wins important game of the season in a 3-2 showdown at Hershey High School Stadium. Torch FC came out strong from the start using the speed of the wingers Cody Boerema and Thiago Dos Santos. Dos Santos was able to easily run past Hershey FC (0,2) defense only to be fouled inside 18 by a defender trying to stop his chances of scoring. With only two minutes passed, Torch FC had an opportunity to go 1 nill when Phil Hagerty took the penalty shot only to be saved by Hershey keeper.

In the 6th minute, Thiago again took a chance at the defense from the right side and was able to cross a beautiful ground ball across the goal to Phil Shafer, who scored his first goal of the season against his former team at his first career appearance for Torch FC.

The two Shafer brothers, Phil and David, had great chemistry and were able to control much of the ball for Torch FC in the middle and final third. David Shafer found a whole in the middle of the defense to dribble his way past the defenders and beat the goal keeper to score his first goal of the season in the 42nd minute of the game.

With the substitution of striker #7 Phil Shafer late in the 72nd minute, Pedro Sousa brought some energy and scoring opportunities from the bench.  After 7 minutes of play a cross by Man of the Match nominee David Shafer found the head of Pedro Sousa for his first goal of the season.

Josh Coupar, a center back for Torch FC, said, “It felt great to get a first win in a Torch shirt. It wasn’t the perfect performance but I think we produced some good soccer that we can build upon in the games to come.”

Coach Sparling said after the game “Hershey is a good team. They are strong, fast and very skilled, so I was very happy with how we held up under their attack. Jumping out to a 2-0 advantage on a fantastic cross from Thiago dos Santos to Phil Shafer, and then a scrappy unassisted goal by David Shafer, could have taken Hershey out of the game. But it didn’t and they fought back to tie the game up 2-2. This is where I believe the character of our team helped us not allow their momentum to swing the game in their favor, and we regained the lead on a pass from David Shafer to Pedro Sousa. The win was great especially after our sloppy performance at Junior Lone Star. What excites me most is that we’ve only been together for 1 week so we are just gaining our footing as a team. I believe we are just going to keep getting stronger. Additionally, we squandered some scoring opportunities including a penalty kick, so the score could have been very different, but then again, so did Hershey. All in all it was a great game and I am glad to have come away with the ‘W’.”

Torch FC has 1 loss and 1 victory so far this season. The next game will be against (2,0) West Chester United Soccer Club, and we expect to be a tough match for us but we expect great soccer to watch from both sides.

Man of the Match Nominations: David Shafer, Midfield, 1 Goal, 1 Assist. David Shafer worked hard and played 92 min.

Starting line up: #0 Matt Palmer, #3 Joshua Coupar, #5 Will Woodfin (66′ #28 Tyler Smith), #10 Matt Giudice, #7 Phil Shafer (#25 Pedro Sena), #16 David Fisher, #11 Thiago Dos Santos, #21 Jeremiah Mateola (#20 Kenny Varady), #15 Cody Boerema, #17 Phillip Hagerty(80′ #32 Nick Marculo), #2 Dominic Powers

Subs: #28 Tyler Smith, #25 Pedro Sousa, #20 Kenny Varady, #32 Nick Marculo

Goals: Philip Shafer 6′,  David Shafer 42′,  Pedro Sousa 79′



Richie Sparling Former Defender to become the Women’s Head Coach

Richie Sparling has agreed to become the new Women’s Head coach for the Torch FC 2017 season. Torch FC Women’s Team will be competing in the Women’s Premier Soccer League also known as the WPSL, playing 12 games. Players are set to report May 15th for training.

“Richie is an excellent soccer tactician and has a solid grasp of the ministry aspect. He grew up with the game and grew up in sports ministry. We are grateful he has accepted this role and anticipate a very successful women’s program,” said Torch Sports Ministry president, Rich Sparling.

A natural athlete with speed and an aggressive style of play, Richie was a 4 year starter at Cairn University. He grew up watching his father and mother coach, so it seems a natural step. His experience will serve him well. He was the assistant to Head Coach Clay Roberts in the Torch Women’s inaugural year (2009) and then (2010) served in the same capacity under his father. After playing on the first Torch men’s team 2011, he transitioned to the men’s program where he assisted then Head Coach, Daniel Byrd (2012 and 2013). Following his marriage, Richie and his wife (Gabrielle) spent a year in Costa Rica preparing to serve as missionaries in the Dominican Republic where they were for the last 2 years.

For more information contact Torch Sports Ministry, Marketing and Media Relations at marketing@torchsportsministry.org.

Meghan Wilson will join the Torch as an Intern for the 2017 season

Meghan Wilson will join the Torch Sports Ministry office staff as an intern for the 2017 season. Wilson is from New Hope, PA where she attended New Hope-Solebury, and played college soccer at Cairn University where she became a top athlete since joining the team. Wilson’s previous experience includes High School Bicentennial Athletic League Most Valuable Player, Bicentennial Athletic League First Team All-league, All-State Team, NSCAA All Region II Team, All Intelligencer First Team, Intelligencer Player of the Year, and Eastern Pennsylvania ODP Team. Wilson has also played for FC Bucks Prowlers.

Each year Torch FC is proud to host interns for the summer where they get to see first hand the behind the scenes work of a sports ministry office while gaining valuable experience in the areas of marketing, administration, strategic planning and public relations. If you would like to learn more about an internship position please contact Torch Sports Ministry today.

David Shafer signs with Torch FC

​Torch Sports Ministry announced Friday the signing of forward David Shafer to an NPSL contract with BuxMont Torch FC. Shafer will play alongside his brother Phil Shafer, who signed with the Torch FC just one month ago.

Shafer who is a native of Orlando, Florida was named 2014 Florida Soccer Player of the Year with 49 goals and 16 assists as a senior in High School.David Shafer attended St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York, where he played as a freshman. Shafer helped St. Francis win their conference championship and played in the NCAA tournament.

In 2016, Shafer played 6 games for Hershey FC in the Keystone conference of the NPSL, and finished with one goal and four assists. Shafer also spent most of the 2016 season training with the Harrisburg City Islanders and Harrisburg Heat in the offseason.

“I am really happy to have David join his brother, Phil, for the 2017 season. David will raise the offensive bar on outside while bringing a great work ethic that will help solidify the high pressure defense that Torch is known for” Head Coach, Rich Sparling.


Philip Shafer Welcome 2017 BuxMont Torch FC

Hershey FC standout signs with Northeast rival

Torch Sports Ministry announced Friday the signing of forward Philip Shafer to an NPSL contract with BuxMont Torch FC. Shafer becomes the first player of 2017 season to sign with the club.

“I was really moved by your team’s prayer and message after the game between Torch FC and Hershey FC” said Philip Shafer. “And being a born-again believer myself I knew from that moment I wanted to be a part of your organization in the future.”

Shafer who is a native of Orlando, Florida played club with FC America and Florida Rush (Orlando City Academy). Shafer finished his High School career at Bishop Moore Catholic as a captain with with 34 goals and 31 assists. Shafer was a four year varsity letterwinner and was All-Central Florida first team Junior and Senior years. Shafer played at Saint Francis College in New York (Division I) as a central attacking midfielder and forward.  His Junior year he was second in both scoring and assists.

In 2016 Shafer played 6 games for Hershey FC in the Keystone conference. He lead the team in both goals and assists with a total of 11 points as a striker and central attacking midfield.

“We’re excited to have him play for the Torch, his obvious love for Christ is evident in the way he carries himself,”  said BuxMont Torch coach Rich Sparling. “He also will provide a strong target up top for the team, something that we haven’t had since the days of Sachem Wilson.”

Shafer is a very big player at 6’5″ and has a great ability in the air finishing crosses with headers.  While playing for Hershey FC Shafer’s unselfish style and work ethic allowed him to roam between the midfield and defense to receive the ball, switch play, and create chances to score.

Best qualities:  Aerial ability, first touch, passing/switching play, running into space, and finding pockets behind midfielders, and finishing crosses.



BuxMont Torch FC men’s team play in the pro/am National Premier Soccer League which is the 4th tier of USA men’s soccer. Home games are played at Pennridge High School Stadium in Perkasie, PA and 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.


2017 Schedule Release

Torch Sports Ministry announced Saturday, March 11th the release of the 2017 schedules. Torch FC men’s team will open up the season by visiting Junior Lone Star on Saturday May 20th, at 4PM. The away game will be played at Bonner Prendergast Catholic High School, 403 N Lansdowne Ave, Drexel Hill, PA. The following month, Torch FC Men’s team will play 5 home games, and fans will be treated with back-to-back games. This year three doubleheaders will be played at Penn Ridge High School.

Torch FC home opener on Sunday, June 4th.

Women’s: Empire CNY, Sunday, 2:00PM

Men: GBFC, Sunday, 4:30PM

Doubleheader Saturday, June 17th

Women’s: Lehigh Valley Tempest, Saturday, 3:00PM

Men: Hershey FC, Saturday, 6:00PM

Doubleheader Sunday, June 25th

Women’s: Hershey FC, Sunday 3:00PM

Men: West Chester, Sunday, 6:00PM

Men’s Schedule


Women’s Schedule