Soccer player makes history as first woman to play in Power 5 college football game

A college senior in the US has made history as the first woman to ever play in a Power 5 football game.

Sarah Fuller, who can usually be found in goal for Vanderbilt University’s soccer team, was called on to the field during the second half of an American football game against the University of Missouri on Saturday.

She had been asked to help with kicking duties for the team, after a number of the side’s players were impacted by the coronavirus.

COLUMBIA, MISSOURI - NOVEMBER 28: Sarah Fuller #32 of the Vanderbilt Commodores warms up on the field prior to a game against the Mizzou Tigers at Memorial Stadium on November 28, 2020 in Columbia, Missouri. Fuller, a senior goalkeeper on Vanderbilt's SEC championship soccer team became the first woman to play in a Power 5 NCAA football game. (Photo by Hunter Dyke/Mizzou Athletics via Getty Images)
Image:Fuller is usually spotted in goal for the Vanderbilt women’s soccer team

The 21-year-old Texan had just finished playing in the soccer season, where she helped the Vanderbilt Commodores win their first title since 1994.

On the football field, the team went down 41-0 to their opponents but despite the loss, the institution marked Fuller’s place in history.

The football team tweeted “Sarah Fuller. Remember the name”, alongside a picture of her in her jersey.

Fuller wore the slogan “Play Like A Girl’ on her helmet during the game – a nod to the charity I Play Like A Girl, which helps girls gain access to educational and sporting opportunities.

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After the match, Fuller told the SEC Network: “Honestly, I was just really calm. The SEC (soccer) championship was more stressful!

“But I was very excited to step out on the field and do my thing. I represent the little girls out there who wanted to do this or have thought about playing football or any sport, really.

COLUMBIA, MISSOURI - NOVEMBER 28: Sarah Fuller #32 of the Vanderbilt Commodores walks on the field prior to a game against the Mizzou Tigers at Memorial Stadium on November 28, 2020 in Columbia, Missouri. Fuller, a senior goalkeeper on Vanderbilt's SEC championship soccer team became the first woman to play in a Power 5 NCAA football game. (Photo by Hunter Dyke/Mizzou Athletics via Getty Images)
Image:Play Like A Girl was emblazoned on her helmet

“I just want to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to, you really can. If you have that mentality all the way through, you can do big things.”

Although she is not the first woman in the US to play college football, she is the first to play at Power 5 level, which refers to the five leagues that represent the highest level of the sport in US universities.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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