Sarah Fuller Makes Football History as First Woman to Play in Power 5 Game

Sarah Fuller, a student at Vanderbilt University, made history when she stepped in to be a kicker in a Power 5 football game following absences from players who were exposed to the coronavirus.

By Kaitlin Reilly Nov 28, 2020 8:41 PMTags
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A senior student at Vanderbilt University just made history. On Saturday, Nov. 28, Sarah Fuller became the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game when the Vanderbilt Commodores played the Missouri University Tigers, according to NBC News

The 21-year-old Texan is a goalie for the Vanderbilt women's soccer team, but stepped up to help the football team out after players on the team were exposed to the coronavirus and unable to participate in the game. She was called into the game after halftime. 

On Nov. 27, Sarah acknowledged her barrier-breaking moment on Twitter, when she revealed she would participate in the game while wearing a football helmet that read "Play like a girl." It was more than just a cute saying, she shared. 

"Tomorrow I will be wearing "Play Like a Girl" on the back of my helmet," she wrote. "@iplaylikeagirl is [sic] nonprofit that encourages girls to play sports and get exposure to STEM opportunities."

NFL Studs On and Off the Football Field

The sports world cheered on Sarah's history-making moment. 

"Gulp. All choked up," sports journalist Holly Rowe tweeted. "History! First woman to play in a power 5 game."

ESPN writer Andrea Adelson added, "I watched Sarah Fuller kick off with my two girls, and we all clapped and my eyes welled with tears. ... As a child, I sat on the couch with my dad so many years ago wishing I could play football, too. Seeing this moment with my own daughters, it defies words."

L G Patterson/AP

The NCAA Soccer official account also congratulated one of their own on Twitter, writing, "Glass = Shattered. From in between the goalposts to endzones."

While this may be Sarah's first historical moment, it's likely it won't be her last.