Vanderbilt Football Making History


Photo via Sports Illustrated

Clare Sandell, Staff Writer

As the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game, Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller made history with her second-half kickoff last weekend. Being the goalkeeper on the Vanderbilt soccer team, Fuller was shocked to receive an invite to tryout as the kicker for the school’s football team. In an interview after Saturday’s game, Vanderbilt’s football coach, Derek Mason, said, “I know we think of football as being a man’s sport, and it is for the most part — 99.9% of it is dominated by males, if not close to 100. But today she broke some history, she made some history.” 

With the words, “Play Like a Girl,” on her helmet, Sarah Fuller took the field for the second-half opening kickoff and executed the low kick to the 35-yard line perfectly. Sarah Fuller said, “All I want to do is be a good influence to the young girls out there.” This decision has resulted in Sarah Fuller influencing those who are afraid to step out of their comfort zone. According to LJHS varsity goalkeeper Jorie MacDonald, “I went into soccer tryouts without being fully experienced but I noticed that I had to step in, which is exactly what Sarah did. She stepped up to the plate without any hesitation, which is pretty cool.”

Even with positive comments being made, Sarah Fuller taking the field has resulted in many negative comments as well. According to LJHS junior varsity goalkeeper Olivia Austin, “Fuller will probably be receiving hate from either the men on the team, or people that do not think women should be playing in a men’s sport.” Even with negative comments being made about her, Sarah Fuller hopes to continue working with the team and influencing all the young girls out there.