Sarah Fuller, 21, becomes first woman to play in power-conference college football game  


Vanderbilt University senior Sarah Fuller, 21, has made history as the first woman ever to play in a power-conference college football game.

Fuller joined Saturday afternoon’s Power 5 NCAA football game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Tigers of Missouri University after halftime.  

Fuller, a Texas 21-year-old and soccer player by training, kicked off the ball starting the half sending it 30 yards while also sending her name into the history books.   

Vanderbilt University senior Sarah Fuller, 21, has made history as the first woman ever to play in a power-conference college football game (pictured the moment she kicked off the second half above)

Fuller joined Saturday afternoon's Power 5 NCAA football game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Tigers of Missouri University after halftime. Pictured at today's game

Fuller joined Saturday afternoon’s Power 5 NCAA football game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Tigers of Missouri University after halftime. Pictured at today’s game

Fuller, a Texas 21-year-old and soccer player by training, kicked off the ball starting the half sending it 30 yards while also sending her name into the history books. Pictured at today’s game 

Fuller wore the number 32 shirt at the game at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri Saturday, where the Commodores lost 41-0.  

Fuller celebrated the historic moment by sporting the slogan ‘Play like a girl’ on the back of her gold helmet, a reference to nonprofit Play Like a Girl that works to provide equal opportunities for girls in sports. 

‘Tomorrow I will be wearing ‘Play Like a Girl’ on the back of my helmet. @iplaylikeagirl is nonprofit that encourages girls to play sports and get exposure to STEM opportunities. Check them out!’ she wrote on Twitter Friday. 

After the game, the player spoke about how ‘exciting’ the moment was and that she hoped to show other women and girls what they can achieve in sport. 

‘Honestly, it’s just so exciting. The fact that I can represent all the little 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 told reporters after the game.

She added: ‘I want to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to.  

Fuller (pictured off the pitch) said after the game how 'exciting' the moment was and that she hoped to show other women and girls what they can achieve in sport

Fuller (pictured off the pitch) said after the game how ‘exciting’ the moment was and that she hoped to show other women and girls what they can achieve in sport

Fuller joined Saturday afternoon's Power 5 NCAA football game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Tigers of Missouri University after halftime

Fuller joined Saturday afternoon’s Power 5 NCAA football game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Tigers of Missouri University after halftime

Fuller celebrated the historic moment by sporting the slogan 'Play like a girl' on the back of her gold helmet, a reference to nonprofit Play like a girl that works to provide equal opportunities for girls in sports

Fuller celebrated the historic moment by sporting the slogan ‘Play like a girl’ on the back of her gold helmet, a reference to nonprofit Play like a girl that works to provide equal opportunities for girls in sports

Fuller wore the number 32 shirt at the game at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri Saturday, where the Commodores lost 41-0

Fuller wore the number 32 shirt at the game at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri Saturday, where the Commodores lost 41-0

‘Like, you really can. If you have that mentality all the way through, you can do big things.’ 

When asked how she felt the moment she stepped on the pitch, she said she was ‘quite calm’ and that playing in the recent SEC championship game had been ‘more stressful’.   

In an interview for Vanderbilt’s website ahead of the monumental game she described the opportunity to play for the team as ‘amazing and incredible’ and ‘an honor’.

‘It hits me every now and then I’m like, ‘Whoa this is all happening,’ ‘ she said. 

‘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.’ 

The Commodores proudly tweeted about the historic moment. 

The Commodores proudly tweeted about the historic moment

The Commodores proudly tweeted about the historic moment 

‘Sarah Fuller. Remember the name,’ the football team tweeted alongside a photo of Fuller on the pitch. 

Fuller joined the game after several Commodores teammates had to bow out when they tested positive for COVID-19 this week. 

Coach Derek Mason contacted Fuller to try her out as a kicker for the game and, after joining the team for practice, she became the only kicker on its travel roster. 

As a senior goalkeeper on Vanderbilt’s women’s soccer team, Fuller has already helped take the college to victory this season after the team won their first SEC title in women’s soccer since 1994. 

Women have played for college football teams in the past, but never for a high-profile team in one of the Power 5 top conferences which includes the SEC, the ACC, the Big Ten Conference, the Big 12 Conference and the Pac-12 Conference. 

Fuller becomes only the third woman to play in the Football Bowl Subdivision, joining kickers Katie Hnida for New Mexico and April Goss for Kent State. 

In 2003, Hnida became the first woman to ever score a goal at the FBS level.

Fuller joined the game (above) after several Commodores teammates had to bow out when they tested positive for COVID-19 this week

Fuller joined the game (above) after several Commodores teammates had to bow out when they tested positive for COVID-19 this week

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk