Sarah Fuller is officially the first. She made history Sunday (AEDT) in Missouri, becoming the first woman to play in a power-conference college football game.
The Vanderbilt place-kicker kicked off to start the second half of Vanderbilt’s game against Missouri, writing her name into the record books. Her kick travelled 30 yards and was met with rapturous applause.
Kayo is your ticket to the best sport streaming Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
The goaltender on the school’s women’s soccer team, Fuller was given a shot on the football team this week after several players were unavailable because they tested positive for COVID-19.
“It hits me every now and then I’m like, ‘Whoa this is all happening,’ ” the Wylie, Texas, native told the school’s official website before the game.
“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. Placing that historical aspect aside just helps me focus in on what I need to do. I don’t want to let them down anyway.
“It’s an honour they called on me to be able to do this and help them out.”
Her efforts quickly became the biggest talking point across America with her name hitting the trending list.
Superstar NFL quarterback Russell Wilson showed love for the moment with a simple message about Fuller: “Legend!!!”.
Not only did Fuller step into the role after less than a week, she took the reigns at halftime and delivered a motivational speech to the team.
Unfortunately Vanderbilt struggled and couldn’t get into field goal range for Fuller to add points onto the scoreboard.
“Honestly, it’s just so exciting,” Fuller said after the team’s 41-0 loss. “The fact that I can represent all the girls out there that have wanted to do this or thought about playing football or any sport really, and it encourages them to be able to step out and do something big like this, it’s awesome.
“I just wanna tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to. You really can. And if you have that mentality all the way through, you can do big things.”
The moment left social media watching on in awe as Fuller etched her name into history and provided unprecendeted amounts of inspiration.
Sports journalist Holly Rowe wrote: “Gulp. All choked up. History! First woman to play in a power 5 game.”
NFL punter Marquette King wrote: “Do ya thing today Sarah Fuller.”
Missourie coach Eliah Drinkwitz on the unbelievable moment: “I just shared with her that I had four daughters of my own that made me very proud to be on the football field with her and wish her the best.”
Reporter for the ACC Network Kelsey Riggs wrote: “Why does this make me feel so emotional. Also okay I’m mentally prepared for the FG now.”
Sports anchor Jordan Crammer wrote: “Full body chills. Lets go.”