Sarah Fuller, a student at Vanderbilt University, made history on Saturday when she became the first woman to play in a power-conference college football game.
The New York Post reported that Fuller, who is a place-kicker, kicked off to begin the second half of Vanderbilt’s game against Missouri. Her impressive kick traveled thirty yards, and it gave her the chance to write her name in the record books.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) November 28, 2020
Fuller is the goaltender on Vanderbilt’s women’s soccer team, but she got the chance to play on the school’s football team this week after several players were not available due to testing positive for COVID-19.
“It hits me every now and then I’m like, ‘Whoa this is all happening,’ ” Fuller, a native of Wylie, Texas, said before the game. “I think it’s amazing and incredible. But I’m also trying to separate that because I know this is a job I need to do and I want to help the team out and I want to do the best that I can. Placing that historical aspect aside just helps me focus in on what I need to do. I don’t want to let them down anyway.”
“It’s an honor they called on me to be able to do this and help them out,” she added.
— Vanderbilt Football (@VandyFootball) November 28, 2020
Though Vanderbilt would eventually lose the game 41-0, Fuller still enjoyed the experience and the historic moment.
“Honestly it’s just so exciting,” Fuller said, according to ESPN. “The fact that I can represent all the girls out there that have wanted to do this or thought about playing football or any sport really and it encourages them to be able to step out and do something big like this, it’s awesome.”
She added that she felt calm when she took the field for the game, and that playing in the SEC championship game was far more stressful. She then offered a message to other young girls who may have been watching.
“I want to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to,” Fuller said. “Like you really can. If you have that mentality all the way through, you can do big things.”