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