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Friday, January 27, 2023

Winning has become a habit for the UF soccer team.

In a rare Thursday night match, the Gators (10-4-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) handed Arkansas (8-9-1, 1-7-1 SEC) a 1-0 defeat.

BIt was a tough, hard-fought match,C UF coach Becky Burleigh said. BThey kept playing really low pressure and dropped their defense back, which made it hard to score and be aggressive.

BIt?s always great to pick up a road win in the SEC and getting a shutout makes it even better.C

The win extended UF?s winning streak to six games, matching its longest winning streak since 2004.

BWe needed to get on a win streak,C Burleigh said. BWe knew that if we were going to have a chance to win the SEC, we were going to have to get on a winning streak. And right now we?re playing very good soccer.C

Forward Ashley Harris provided the only score of the game.

Defender Caitlin Howard crossed a ball into the box, where Harris then headed it past the goalkeeper.

BIt was a great goal by Ashley,C Burleigh said. BShe has a great ability to score goals where others wouldn?t be able to, and she?ll go for goals where others won?t.C

The goal was Harris? seventh of the season, giving her the team lead past Stacy Bishop's six.

BAshley is one of the toughest players we have,C Burleigh said. BShe?s capable of taking hits and popping right back up off the ground.C

UF?s defensive pressure frustrated the Razorbacks throughout the game.

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The Gators? aggressive defense wore down Arkansas in the closing minutes of the second half.

The Gators won?t have time to enjoy their victory, though.

They host LSU (10-2-5, 4-1-3 SEC) Sunday at noon.

Thankfully for UF, its final three games of the season will be at home, giving it the chance to be the hottest team entering the SEC Tournament.

BWe?ll be happy to play at home to end the season,C Burleigh said. BBut when you?re in the SEC, you?ve got to play against the top teams in the country every week. There isn?t a day off, even if you?re at home.C

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