Football

From soccer goalie to Grid Iron: Sarah Fuller makes history with men's American football team

Fuller delivered the opening kickoff of the second-half for Vanderbilt University in first for Power 5 college football in the U.S.

By Ken Browne ·

Soccer goalkeeper Sarah Fuller made history by becoming the first woman to play in a men's Power 5 conference college American football game.

Fuller has been training with NCAA team Vanderbilt University as a kicker and delivered the opening kickoff of the second half in her team's match-up with the University of Missouri. Her low kick sailed to the 35-yard line where it was downed by Missouri.

"Let's make history," Fuller tweeted before the game, in full armour, using the hashtag #PlayLikeAGirl.

A week ago Fuller wasn't even on Vanderbilt's football team.

She plays as a goalkeeper for the Vanderbilt women's soccer team, but with the men's specialist kickers quarantined due to COVID-19, she was drafted in as an emergency replacement.

"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," Fuller told the 'Commodores website.

"Placing that historical aspect aside just helps me focus in on what I need to do. I don't want to let them down in any way."

Goalie to Grid Iron

No stranger to winning, this historic feat came on the heels of a Southeastern Conference championship-winning soccer season for the Vanderbilt senior.

Head American football coach Derek Mason told ESPN before the game: "She's got a strong leg. We'll see what that yields, We'll figure out what that looks like on Saturday."

Vanderbilt's head soccer coach, Darren Ambrose, said Fuller's "the right person for the job."

"So excited for you and for college football," the coach said in a social media post.

And Fuller delivered, taking the opening kickoff in the third quarter.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, you have witnessed history," Vanderbilt Football tweeted with a video of Fuller being congratulated on the sideline after the kick.

"I just want to to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to" - Sarah Fuller