Sarah Fuller: The First Woman to Play in a Power 5 Football Game

Robert Gruszka, Reporting Journalist

Sarah Fuller made history on Saturday, November 28 by becoming the first woman ever to play in a Power 5 football game. Sarah Fuller was a soccer player for Vanderbilt University and was on the SEC soccer championship team last year! Her first unintentional step into the game of football was last year when assistant soccer coach Kelly Keelan tried something new with Vanderbilt goalkeepers, Sarah Fuller and Sophie Guilmette. She placed the soccer ball at the 10-yard line and told them to aim at a large curtain hanging from the rafters that was near the back edge of the end zone. They were going to have a contest to see who could hit the curtain and stepping 5 yards back after every successful kick. Keelan even tried but was eliminated early, then Guilmette, and lastly Sarah Fuller who made it to the 45-yard line.

She didn’t attempt any extra points or field goals, but she did kick a successful squib kick to start the second half, which is a shorter, line drive kickoff to avoid the returning team from being able to run with the ball. She wore a sticker on the back of her helmet that said “Play Like a Girl” to promote a non-profit organization in Nashville, Tennessee accordingly named Play Like a Girl. She was set to start against Georgia but that game was postponed.

“I haven’t taken a second to soak it all in,” Fuller said in regards to her sudden burst of fame. She had to silence her phone and give her phone to her boyfriend to tell her which famous people mentioned her online. “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America” both wanted to interview her. This is a lot for anyone who hasn’t been in the spotlight before.