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 (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′
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.