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Thursday August 11, 2011 Helmets aren't just for football players; Gators soccer team must wear them, too

Updated: 12:15pm, August 13

With Gators soccer coach Becky Burleigh preparing for the start of her 17th season at UF, Burleigh knows her team will need help from the 13 freshmen on the roster.

The Gators soccer team in their helmets.

So when they showed up on campus in late June and started having scooter accidents regularly, Burleigh instituted a new rule: players must wear helmets when they drive their scooters.

She does. Burleigh often drives her scooter to work and prefers to do so with a helmet on her head.

"It’s about controlling the controllables,'' Burleigh said. "I’ve been encouraging them to wear helmets, but not all made that choice. This summer, several of the freshmen were in minor accidents, so the choice was made for the entire team.

"I think they have made the adjustment. Now they have something to blame for bad hair days."

Fans can get their first look at the Gators -- bad hair and all -- on Friday night at 7 during the team's annual Orange & Blue Scrimmage. Florida is ranked ninth on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason poll released on Aug. 9.

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