THE University of The Bahamas men’s soccer team captain Marlon Barnes showed up big for his squad Sunday against Future Stars FC in Bahamas Football Association action at The Roscow A. L. Davies Field.
Barnes became the hat-trick hero for The Mingoes by scoring three goals as the team won 3-1 to stay in second place overall with 31 points (10-3-1).
The Western Warriors lead the league with 31 points and a 10-1 record. Despite the same number of points, The Western Warriors have the first place designation because of less games and less losses.
Barnes started his hat-trick campaign in the first half of the match. Barnes scored on a push-kick penalty shot in the right side of the goal in the 31st minute to put the team up 1-0.
The Mingoes’ defence came alive and keeper Antonio Beckford had six saves in the back half of the first half. The Mingoes took the 1-0 lead into the break.
Coming out of the break, The Mingoes were a bit lacklustre and allowed the Future Stars to score an easy goal in the 54th minute to tie the match at 1-1.
After the score, the Mingoes were determined not to fall victim to another draw. The Mingoes drew 1-1 against Bears FC on February 26 in the team’s previous match.
Midfielder Ronaldo Green was tackled in the box and the team awarded a penalty kick in the 63rd minute.
Barnes stepped up for the penalty and connected again on a right-foot push-kick in the right side of the goal to put The Mingoes up 2-1.
The Mingoes were not done. Off a free kick in the 65th minute, Jean Tilo fired the ball deep in the Future Stars box where winger Morgan Wood controlled the ball just outside of the goal box.
Barnes took the Wood pass off his chest and fired the ball across the goal for his third goal of the day.
Barnes scored his first hat-trick of the season but was more concerned about the win than his personal success.
“I am just here for the team,” he said. “ I am here to give it all for the team. My heart and dedication is for the team so I am just happy for the victory.”
He added that the team’s game plan was simple.
“We wanted to stick to the middle and keep the ball passing and whatever chances we got we wanted to put it away and that was exactly what happened here today,” he said.
“I must commend the boys today. They played very hard as we stuck to the game plan and we picked up the win. I am happy for the victory.”
The Mingoes next play United FC at 9pm on Wednesday March 15 at The Roscow A.L. Davies Field.