Women Tie FC Bucks

The BuxMont Torch hosted FC Bucks in their final regular season Women’s Premier Soccer League match of 2013 on Tuesday July 9th at Pennridge High School. The high scoring encounter between two of the league’s most prolific attacking sides resulted in a 4-4 tie with the teams sharing a point each in the league standings.

The goalscoring began quickly with the Torch women striking first in the 18th minute of the match. Tattie DePaolo utilized her persistent defensive pressure to force an FC Bucks turnover and then slip a through pass into the feet of Lisa Philbin. Philbin, making a darting run down the right side, collected the pass and cooly finished the opportunity despite heavy pressure from the Bucks defenders. Just after the visitors were able to level the score at 1-1, BuxMont’s Bernie Witz was able to reestablish the Torch lead with a goal in the 26th minute. Witz fancifully dribbled through numerous Bucks defenders before driving a shot past the keeper and into the upper corner of the goal. BuxMont was able to add a third goal in the 41st minute off a shot from Alex Levithan. On the other end of the field, FC Bucks were able to net a goal of their own just before the half to go into the break trailing the Torch women by a score of 3-2.

Only three minutes into the second half Lisa Philbin added to the Torch lead by scoring her second goal of the game off of a penalty kick. Up 4-2 for the majority of the second half, the Torch were unfortunate in conceding two late goals to the away team. Buck’s attackers Scarlett Walsh and Nicole Baxter were each able to tally a score before the match would come to a conclusion with a 4-4 tie.

With the tie, both teams conclude their 2013 WPSL campaigns. The Torch finish with an impressive 17 points and third place in the Tri-State Division standings while FC Bucks finish with 11 points and sit at fifth place in the division standings.

FC Lehigh Game Recap

The 2012 National Premier Soccer League champions, FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic, left Pennridge High School on Saturday July 6th after playing to a 5-1 win over conference foe and regional rival BuxMont Torch.

Playing in their final regular season match, Sonic opened the match with the intensity and determination of a team looking to secure the top spot in the Keystone Conference and a ensure a home playoff match. After an eventful opening twenty minutes in which both teams saw equal shares of attacking opportunities, Sonic took control of the game and scored five goals within the last twenty minutes of the first half. The commanding 5-0 lead was inspired by the strong performance of Sonic midfielder Matt Baker who orchestrated much of the attacking efforts while recording two assists and a goal. Sonic attacker Tom Mustac aided in the winning effort by recording an assist and a goal.

The heat and humidity of the warm July evening forced both teams to make multiple substitutions at the break. In spite of the deficit, Torch head coach Daniel Byrd used the mid-game respite to encourage his team to persevere and urged them to begin chipping away at the Sonic lead one goal at a time while also insisting on a renewed defensive focus.

Bolstered by fresh legs and renewed conviction, the second half proved to be much more positive for the Torch who would net a goal of their own in the 50th minute. Veteran Torch midfielder JP Fulton was able to swiftly elude his defender before sending in a driven aerial cross from the right side of the field to the far post where teammate Wendell Gabriel ran to meet the ball and emphatically head it into the Sonic goal. The goal seemed to enliven the hosts who put forth a strong defensive showing in the second half thanks in large part to the consistent and well-timed challenges of center backs Doug Cordi and Greg Terrell. After letting in a season high five goals in the first half, BuxMont was able to hold Lehigh to a mere two shots in the second half.

The 5-1 win for Sonic ends their regular season with a record of 9-0-3 and the title of Keystone Conference champions. They now wait for the conclusion of the Atlantic Division before knowing who they will host in the first round of the NPSL playoffs in two weeks. BuxMont returns to Pennridge to host Clarkstown SC Eagles on Wednesday July 9th at 7 P.M.

Lady Torch Tie Lehigh Valley United

The BuxMont Torch of the Women’s Premier Soccer League battled to a 2-2 tie with divisional rival Lehigh Valley United Sonic on Saturday July 6th at Pennridge High School. Both teams faught through oppressive heat and humidity to offer the crowd a fast-paced and exciting match.

BuxMont opened the match with a strong spell of possession and looked eager to control the tempo of the game. The fluid passing allowed the Torch to unlock the Sonic defense as Ali Roberts found Bernie Witz with a long pass. Witz calmly controlled the pass and immediately placed a shot into the back of the Sonic goal. The lead would be short lived as Sonic replied quickly with a goal of their own off of a free kick. Torch keeper Leigh Anne Lindsey was called into action often and was successful in turning away further Sonic attacking efforts and help end the first half at a 1-1 tie.

The second half opened with urgency and determination from each side, knowing that the game’s outcome would have great impact on the final league standings. Halftime substitute Brittney Gadd came in as the new Torch goalie and helped prevent an early score from Sonic. Inspired by early defensive efforts of Gadd and the back four, BuxMont began to increase their attacking pressure on the Sonic side of the field. Ultimately, it would be Bernie Witz who delivered a lofted cross into the path of Melin Niedermayer who made no mistake and quickly smashed in a shot that deflected off the underside of the crossbar and past the Sonic goalie. Niedermayer’s first goal of the season would be the last of the day for the hardworking Torch. Sonic would net a final unassisted goal to end the match as a 2-2 draw.

The Torch return to action on Tuesday July 9th against FC Bucks to conclude the 2013 WPSL season.

Morris County Game Recap

The BuxMont Torch fell to Keystone Conference opponent Morris County Colonials 4-2 on Wednesday June 19th. The match, contested on the campus of Farleigh Dickinson University – Fordham, was marked by great attacking work from both sides and incredible goalkeeping from Colonials star Kevin Bonder.

The midweek NPSL contest, played under the lights of Robert T. Shields field, heated up quickly with both sides looking to move up in the conference standings. Morris County attacker Nick Fischer wasted no time in getting on the score sheet as he converted a close range effort in the 3rd minute that just slipped past Torch goalkeeper Gonzalo Alvarez. In the fifteenth minute, BuxMont responded with a tying goal from attacking midfielder Sheldon Meyer. Torch leftback Josh Kremers, who looked lively and threatening in joining the attack during the whole of the match, made a committed run down the the left flank before locating Meyer with an outswinging cross into the Colonials penalty area that Meyer headed confidenty into the Morris County goal.

The Colonials were able to regain the lead with two more goals before halftime. In the 22nd minute Morris County midfielder Abner Denis was able to connect with a loose ball that bounced around inside the Torch penalty area and send it into the back of the Torch goal. Then in the 29th minute, the hosts took a 3-1 lead after Erick Lagg found himself with space and time to strike a firm shot into the back of the net.

Despite an early two goal deficit, the Torch showed grit and persistent determination throughout the match and were able to score another goal in the 37th minute. A series of intricately worked passes from the Torch midfield set up a final pass into the feet of Emmy Ebgosimbah who scored his second in as many games. The Torch striker showed a touch of class in converting a difficult shot from almost thirty yards away from goal that eluded the outstretched Colonials keeper.

The Torch attackers seemed destined to score a third goal but were repeatedly denied by Colonials keeper Bonder. The Morris County goalie stood strong in turning away numerous close range attempts from Torch midfielders Wendell Gabriel, Austin Petrie, and Sheldon Meyer. Instead it would be the home team who scored one final goal in the 83rd minute as attacker Phil Swenda placed a side-footed shot into the lower right corner of the Torch goal.

After securing the 4-2 win, Morris County improved to 2-1-3 on the season as they prepare for a weekend match against FC Sonic. BuxMont returns to Pennridge to host defending NPSL national champion FC Sonic on Saturday July 6th.

Greater Binghamton F.C. Game Recap

On Sunday June 16th the BuxMont Torch earned a 2-2 draw at home against National Premier Soccer League opponent Greater Binghamton F.C. (GBFC). A goal and an assist from Emmy Egbosimbah helped the Torch earn a tie against the second place team in the Keystone Conference.

The Father’s Day match opened with a spark of activity from Torch striker Sachem Wilson. Binghamton played two back passes from the kickoff and Wilson was able to intercept the second before dribbling deep into the 18 yard box and firing a shot that was saved by GBFC’s Jason Stenta. Six minutes later, GBFC would respond with a goal by Bozidar Jelovac who capitalized on a Torch defensive turnover before slotting home the first goal of the game. Jelovac would net his second of the match in the 28th minute after the referee called a foul on the Torch defense inside their own penalty area and gave GBFC a penalty kick. Faced with an early 2 goal deficit, Torch head coach Daniel Byrd made a substitution and brought on Emmy Egbosimbah in the 29th minute. The substitution yielded almost immediate dividends as Egbosimbah applied constant pressure to the GBFC back four and scored in the 34th minute off an assist from Austin Petrie.

Coming out of the halftime break, and with a week since their previous NPSL match, the Torch looked fresh, inspired, and committed to earning a good result on their home turf. Halftime substitute Wendell Gabriel was able to level the score at 2-2 with a goal in the 46th minute. The persistent pressure applied by Egbosimbah forced another GBFC turnover and allowed him to make a cross to Gabriel who corralled the ball on the left side of the Binghamton penalty area before unleashing a venomous right footed strike underneath the diving Stenta. The goal would be the last of a lively second half which saw both teams hold strong in their defensive halves of the field and attempt to work passing sequences through the midfield. Torch defenders Josh Kremers, Greg Terrell, Doug Cordi, and Kevin Skinker looked cohesive and competent in dealing with the GBFC offensive threats, while BuxMont keeper Jeremy Lee made five saves on the evening and was a strong vocal presence helping to coordinate defending efforts in front of him.

The Torch looked to build off of this result as they travel to face the Morris County Colonials on Wednesday June 19th. Binghamton gets back into action on Saturday June 22nd as they host the Pocono Snow.

Buxmont Torch Down FC Bucks

The BuxMont Torch of the Women’s Premier Soccer League earned a home 3-1 win against FC Bucks in front of an enthusiastic Father’s Day crowd on Sunday June 16th.

The breezy afternoon conditions and a strong opening effort from the visitors required Torch goalkeeper Audra Larson to be alert and ready to handle an early barrage of shots. The Torch offense again looked impressive moving the ball forward and creating scoring opportunities. Ultimately, the BuxMont attack found the first of three goals from defensive player Michelle Clark who accurately placed a long range effort just over the reach of the Bucks keeper and under the crossbar. With a 1-0 lead, the Torch were unfortunate not to score a second before halftime after a few impressive combinations between Sarah Guidera and Annie Hamilton seemed to unbalance the Bucks defenders.

The second goal of the game came shortly after the halftime break as BuxMont’s Karly Linton threaded a quick pass between the Bucks defense and into the path of Nikki Elsaesser who found the back of the net and continued her impressive scoring output that has helped the Torch all summer. On the other end of the field, Brittany Gadd stepped in to defend the Torch goal for second half and did exceptionally well to turn back numerous efforts by the visiting attackers. Gadd and Larson were instrumental in protecting the lead and ended the game with a combined nine saves for the Torch. The Torch were able to add a third goal in the 80th minute after Bernie Witz sent in a shot from the far left side of the penalty area which sailed just over the keeper and into the Bucks goal. Shannon Gibat of FC Bucks was able to score a late goal for the visitors just before regulation ended.

The 3-1 win secures the fifth victory of the season for the Torch, who now sit atop the Tri-State division with a 5-2 record. BuxMont looks to build off the strong result as they travel to take on the Long Island Fury on Wednesday June 19th.

Torch Win on the Road Over NJ Blaze

The BuxMont Torch of the Women’s Premier Soccer League took to the road and earned their fourth win of the season with a late 3-2 win over the New Jersey Blaze on Wednesday evening.

The Torch have distinguished themselves as a team that is confident in possession and capable of creating scoring opportunities. This trend continued as soon as the match got underway in Cranbury Township, New Jersey. The cohesive passing and fluid movement of players throughout the midfield created early scoring opportunities for Nikki Elsaesser, Bernie Witz, and Melissa Kornock. The Blaze defense did very well to keep the high powered Torch offense off the score sheet in the opening half.

After keeping a clean sheet the first half, the Torch were unfortunate to concede the first goal of the second half. The Blaze forced an early corner kick, and after the ball bounced around in the box, were able to convert the opportunity and take a 1-0 lead. The Torch responded with an equalizer after Rae Mickell slotted a pass to Macaulay Soto who calmly dispensed the chance to level the game at 1-1. The Torch, feeding off the energy of Soto’s goal, quickly scored their second goal after Bernie Witz was able to intercept a Blaze pass, dribble past the defense, and skillfully chip in a finish to send her team ahead. The BuxMont lead was short lived as the Blaze scored their second goal on a quick counter attack to tie the game.

With the outcome hanging in the balance, and injury time quickly approaching, it was BuxMont attacker Lisa Philbin who would net the game winning strike in the 88th minute. Bernie Witz began the Torch attack by dribbling down the wing and passing to Elsaesser who dribbled by the defense and lofted a cross to Philbin. Playing with composure and confidence the entire match, it was fitting that Philbin was able to make the most of this last opportunity by placing the ball into the bottom left corner to secure three points and a crucial road victory for the Torch.

The win sends the Torch to 4-2 on the season with a home match against FC Bucks coming up on Sunday afternoon. The Blaze look for their first win of the season as they get back into action next Wednesday evening against the New York Athletic Club.

Torch Lose 2-1 to NYAC

The BuxMont Torch fell by a score of 2-1 to Women’s Premier Soccer League divisional foe New York Athletic Club on Sunday June 9th. The match, contested in Pelham Manor, New York was won by two second half goals from the home team.

BuxMont opened the match by asserting a strong attacking presence and looked intent on taking three points on the road. Lisa Philbin, Ali Roberts, and Nikki Elsaesser combined frequently in the attcking half to create scoring opportunities. On the defensive end, Torch goalkeeper Audra Larson did her part to keep NYAC off the score sheet in the first half by recording multiple saves and being a vocal leader for the back four. The Torch finally saw the fruit of their combined attacking efforts result in a first half goal. Elsaesser showed great composure in distributing a pass to Bernie Witz who clinically finished the opportunity with a strong shot to the upper corner.

In a testiment to the competitive nature of the WPSL, NYAC opened the second half reinvigorated and were able to get on the board right after the halftime break. The home team amped up the pressure even further during the remainder of the half and were able to force a free quick just outside the box. NYAC midfield Natalle Melo was able navigate the ball past the Torch wall and goalkeeper to net what would be the game winning goal. Witz and Philbin looked energetic and likely to level the match but never could find that elusive second goal.

The loss, only the second for the Torch, puts BuxMont at 3-2 on the season, while NYAC now sits at 2-1-1. The Torch women resume play on Wednesday June 12th as they travel to take on the New Jersey Blaze, before hosting FC Bucks on Sunday June 16th.

Torch Suffer First Loss to LI Fury

The BuxMont Torch of the Women’s Premier Soccer League suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the Long Island Fury.

Long Island set the tone early on in the game with a quick goal in the 6th minute of play. In spite of an initial save from Torch keeper Audra Larson, Fury attacker Simonian was able to collect the rebound and squeeze in the first goal. BuxMont looked eager to respond with the skillful Bernadette Witz who was repeatedly successful in beating defenders and creating numerous scoring opportunities. Unfortunately that goal never came and instead the Fury were able to secure two more goals, both by Falcone, just before halftime to take a 3-0 lead into halftime.

After the break, the Torch looked lively and were able to string together multiple sequences of passes. Tattie DePaulo was unfortunate not to score after receiving a beautifully weighted through pass which put her in position to fire a powerful shot on goal. Lisa Philbin also contributed with incredible work rate and looked threatening with multiple attacking runs down the sideline. The Torch goalie tandem of Larson and Brittany Gadd were able to come up with 15 impressive saves during the game.

Unfortunately the BuxMont attacking efforts proved to be fruitless on this night and instead it was the Fury attack who were able to net two more second half goals to finish off a 5-0 win.

The loss drops the Torch to a respectable 3-1 record as they prepare for an away match against NYAC on Sunday June 9th. The Fury improve to 2-0 and look to host FC LVU Sonic on Sunday June 9th.