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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

After the biggest offensive outburst of her career, Ashley Harris is drawing a lot of attention.

The senior was named Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week and was also named to the Soccerbuzz.com Elite Team of the Week.

Harris scored three goals against South Florida and Florida State, matching her career total prior to last weekend's games.

"It's very much an honor for me," Harris said. "It's more shock than anything, being named the offensive player of the week. And it's pretty fun since it's the first time I got to play offense for UF."

Harris played the forward position for the first time in her collegiate career this weekend, and her speed provided the spark the Gators needed following junior Ameera Abdullah's injury against the Bulls on Friday night. Following her stellar debut, Burleigh said Harris will likely start at forward for the foreseeable future.

"She's so quick off the mark and every time," Burleigh said. "She's always around the ball whether it's defensively or offensively. And you know speed never slumps."

ABDULLAH UPDATE: After she suffered what appeared to be a serious injury, it seems UF may not be without their preseason All-SEC midfielder for very long.

Burleigh said Monday that X-rays of Abdullah's left ankle came back negative for serious damage, and it's only a matter of time before she returns.

"She's pretty bruised and sore, so we'll just have to wait and see how long it takes to get it out of her system," Burleigh said.

Abdullah was hurt in a collision with USF goalkeeper Mallori Lofton-Malachi just eight minutes into the game.

Though it is highly unlikely at this point, Burleigh left open the possibility that Abdullah could make an immediate return.

"I'd be surprised if she could play this weekend, but you never know," Burleigh said. "We have a superb training staff. (Trainer) Emily Keifer does a great job of getting our players back as quickly as she can."

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