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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Whether it's been Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen or Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, it's safe to say sports fans love their dynamic duos.

And as the No. 12 Gators (4-2) host Florida Atlantic tonight at 7 and travel to Lincoln to face Nebraska on Sunday at 2 p.m., UF will have its own dynamic duo opponents to contend with.

Seniors KeLeigh Hudson and Ashley Harris account for 17 of the Gators? 30 points this season, and have carried an offense that sometimes struggled to get the ball to the back of the net.

Hudson, who entered the season with 12 career goals, has already scored three times this season. The midfielder says her increased production is a result of increased aggressiveness and a little luck.

BI?ve been in the right place at the right time,C she said. BI?ve always said that when we need someone to step up and score, I?ve got no problem trying to put the ball in the back of the net.C

Harris? outburst comes as a bit of a surprise, considering she spent most of her collegiate career as a defender and entered her senior season with just three career goals - all of which came in 2006.

Harris has become one of the No. 12 Gators? offensive leaders, but what?s come as an even bigger surprise is the chemistry she?s developed with Hudson.

Hudson has assisted on three of Harris? four goals this season, and it appears like one is anticipating the movements of the other.

BWe know where the other one is going to be playing,C Harris said. BI can read her and she can read me. I can depend on her to finish a play or lay it off to someone else. And I think she thinks I can finish it as well.

BWe take pride in our shots. That?s not to say that other people don?t take pride in their shots, but I think we understand the buildup and how hard it is to score.C

The buildup toward pressure situations doesn?t faze them, either. As UF?s leading scorers from last season, Stacy Bishop and Ameera Abdullah, have gotten off to slow starts, Hudson and Harris have had no qualms with taking a big shot down the stretch.

Hudson has provided game-winning goals against Indiana and Florida State this season, and Harris has scored game-clinching goals against South Florida and Drake.

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BKeLeigh has been able to score big goals her whole career,C UF coach Becky Burleigh said. BIt?s a little different for Ashley, but she?s always been somebody who?s risen to the level of the opponent.C

The Gators expect to wreak havoc when Abdullah, who scored 11 goals in 2006, returns to the lineup following a left peroneal tendon strain.

BIt?s going to be even better,C Hudson said. BAmeera?s going to come back out there and do what she does. It?s going to be a lot of fun.C

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