Football

Vanderbilt's Sarah Fuller makes football history as 1st woman to kick for Power 5 school

Vanderbilt's Sarah Fuller became the first woman to participate in a Power Five conference football game when she kicked off to start the second half against Missouri on Saturday in Columbia.

Soccer goalkeeper delivers low kick to open 2nd half against Missouri on Saturday

Using a holder rather than a tee, Vanderbilt's Sarah Fuller delivered a low kick to open the second half on Saturday to became the first woman to participate in a Power Five conference football game. (Hunter Dyke/Mizzou Athletics via Getty Images)

Sarah Fuller made history, but her barrier-breaking kickoff was the only highlight for Vanderbilt as Missouri dominated the Commodores 41-0 on Saturday.

Fuller became the first woman to participate in a Power 5 conference football game when she kicked off to start the second half. Fuller delivered a low kick that bounced to the 35-yard line, where Missouri pounced on it.

WATCH | Sarah Fuller makes historic 1st kick in NCAA Division 1 game:

Sarah Fuller becomes first woman to play in Power 5 football game

Sports

2 months agoVideo
1:42
Soccer player Sarah Fuller makes history with her 2nd half kick-off for the Vanderbilt Commodores as she becomes the first woman to appear in a Power 5 football game. 1:42

The 21-year-old never got the chance to attempt a PAT or field goal, as the Tigers (4-3) rarely allowed the Commodores (0-8) to cross midfield in the Southeastern Conference game.

Fuller, a senior goalkeeper on the Vanderbilt soccer team, joined the football team this week after helping the Commodores win the Southeastern Conference Tournament last weekend. COVID-19 protocols and restrictions left Vandy football coach Derek Mason with a limited number of specialists available against Missouri. Mason reached out to soccer coach Darren Ambrose for some help.

Fuller agreed to give football a try and practised with the winless Commodores before making the trip to Missouri. She wore "Play Like A Girl" on the back of her helmet.

No woman had appeared in an SEC football game or for any Power Five team. Liz Heaston became the first woman to score with two extra points for Willamette in NAIA on Oct. 18, 1997.

Katie Hnida was the first woman to score at the Football Bowl Subdivision level with two extra points for New Mexico on Aug. 30, 2003.

April Goss was the second with an extra point for Kent State in 2015. Tonya Butler was the first woman to kick a field goal in an NCAA game for Division II West Alabama on Sept. 13, 2003.

"Let's make history," she wrote Friday on Twitter with a photo of herself wearing a football jersey with a soccer ball between her feet while holding a football in her hands.

After the game, Fuller had the following to say: "I haven't taken a second to soak it all in, really. I think it's incredible that I am able to do this.

"All I want to is be a good influence to the young girls. There were times that I struggled in sports but I am thankful I stuck with it.

"I just want to say, literally, you can do anything you set your mind to...that's the No. 1 thing."

WATCH | Sarah Fuller discussed on CBC Sports' Bring It In podcast:

Bring It In with Morgan Campbell, Pilot Episode

Sports

2 months agoVideo
34:24
In the pilot episode of Bring It In with Morgan Campbell, panelists Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin discuss the history made by Sarah Fuller, debate the need for novelty events in sports and participate in a rapid game of In or Out on this week's biggest stories. 34:24

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