Fuller makes history

L.G. Patterson | Associated Press | Photo Courtesy
Fuller kicked off the second half for Vanderbilt

The Vanderbilt kicker is the latest trailblazer in the world of sports

Sarah Fuller was able to make history this past weekend as she became the first woman to play in a Power 5 college football game. She took the field for Vanderbilt University as they went up against the Missouri Tigers.

Fuller is a senior at Vanderbilt and is the starting goalkeeper for their women’s soccer team. She was called by Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason after several of the team’s specialists were forced to stop practicing due to COVID-19 protocols.

She was only able to kick once, however, due to the fact that Vanderbilt lost 41-0. The opportunity came when she delivered a squib kick for the second-half kickoff. The kick traveled 30 yards and was downed at the 35-yard line.

After the game, Fuller said, “I would love to learn more, so if those guys come out of quarantine, I would love to learn from them and their experience. I’ve been having a lot of fun doing this. It’s a challenge for me, but it’s something I know I can do. It’s applicable from doing a goal kick to a field goal kick, so I want to continue learning, and if those guys can help me, I’m all for it.”

Although she is the first woman to play in a Power 5 game, she isn’t the first woman to play in an FBS football game. She joined Katie Hnida of New Mexico and April Goss of Kent State to accomplish this feat.

On Monday, Fuller was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.

It sounds as if this wasn’t just a one-off opportunity for Fuller, as she will be traveling with the team for their game this Saturday against Georgia.

Vanderbilt interim head coach Todd Fitch told reporters on Tuesday, “She’ll be with us on the trip to Georgia and we’re going to put the best people out there. If she’s our best option, we’ll continue with her and we’ll do the best we can for the team.”

In a year that has been largely forgettable for the Vanderbilt football team thanks to an 0-8 record, Fuller adds something that will be remembered.

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