Sarah Fuller First Female to Play in Power 5 Football Game

Sarah Fuller First Female to Play in Power 5 Football Game

Sarah Vance Harrison

     As a girl who loves to watch football, I have noticed, in both the NFL and the NCAA, the sidelines and field are very much male-dominated. So seeing a female kicking at a college football game gave me a spark of excitement and hope for the future. Sarah Fuller took the field for Vanderbilt after several players got COVID, leaving the team in need of a new kicker. Fuller played collegiate soccer as a goalie and was asked to practice with the team the week before they went up against Missouri. She ended up performing a squib kick to open the second half and in doing so was the first woman to play for a Power 5 football team.

     Of course, this accomplishment would not have happened this soon if it weren’t for other trailblazers leading the way. Jen Welter was the first female coach in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals. Katie Sowers, an assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers, was the first woman to coach in a Super Bowl game. Katie Hnida and April Goss were the first two females to play in the FBS, both also kickers.

    It can be slightly discouraging when something you love so much doesn’t seem so accepting, but teams all across the country are continuing to be more inclusive. Women are continuing to gain more coaching and leadership positions in the NFL and bigger clients as sports agents. The kick was a reminder that women have a place in the world of football and will not silently be left out of it. Sarah Fuller’s kick was one of the many steps women will take to have more opportunities in football and male-dominated sports leagues.