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Monday, June 05, 2023

After an undefeated start, the Gators know they have a good team with potential to do a lot of damage this season.

“I really like this team a lot,” Florida coach Becky Burleigh said. “We got some great contributions from some newcomers, we’ve got some great contributions from some returners, and I think that we’re headed in the right direction.”

As No. 7 UF (4-0) prepares for its only home game of the month against Jacksonville (2-2), it knows how important it is to get a solid victory before embarking on a five-game road trip, which includes stops at No. 5 FSU and No. 1 North Carolina.

“It’s huge (to head into the road trip with a win),” captain McKenzie Barney said. “We always take pride in playing at home and winning on our home field, so we’re definitely looking for another win.”

Fresh off a second-straight SEC Offensive Player of the Week award, Barney has given UF a huge boost. She is in top form and feels confident going into the Jacksonville game.

Even though Barney had a number of missed chances last week, she still knows what she has to do to lead the Gators to victory.

“I need to finish on my opportunities,” Barney said. “I need to be accountable for what my job and position on the team is, and I also need to pump everyone up to dominate next game.”

Although they had some problems putting the ball in the net, the Gators played well against San Diego State’s defense and look to do the same against the Dolphins.

“The Jacksonville team is going to be another puzzle in terms of how we break down a very organized defense, which is something we see a lot,” Burleigh said. “It’s a really equipped skill for our team to master, and hopefully we can build on our experience from last weekend and be able to do that against Jacksonville.”

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