Making History!

From+Sarah+Fullers+Twitter+page

Sarah Fuller

From Sarah Fuller’s Twitter page

Jordan Hastie, Writer

On November 28, 2020, Vanderbilt University made history by suiting up the first-ever woman to play for a Power 5 football team. Sarah Fuller, a player on the Vanderbilt’s women’s soccer team, switched it up, and kicked for Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Fuller is a Senior at Vanderbilt and has been playing goalie on the women’s soccer team all 4 years, but it’s not until this season that she was in goal. She made huge strides for the team, taking them to the SEC championships and having an immaculate record. With a 75.5% save point average, and 28 total saves this season, she stands with the 8th best mark in the soccer team’s history. Her great strides for the soccer team showcased her talent and made her a big competitor for the spot on the football team.

Fuller was recruited by the team after the previous kicker was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The head football coach, Derek Mason, recruited her for the position after seeing her accomplishments for the women’s soccer team. I think that her build had a lot to do with her being the main competitor, she is a powerhouse towering at 6’2. To put it in perspective, she’s around the same height as her male teammates, and even towering over some.

When Fuller’s position was announced, many people had lots to say. Being a girl athlete, misogyny and stereotypes are always thrown at you. All over social media, people were livid about a girl kicker, for the team. Comments like, “Is it bad I want her to get rocked?” and “They couldn’t have grabbed one from the guy’s team?” were posted online about her. People were so upset, that they wanted her to get hurt and mocked her simply because of gender.

When Fuller kicked in her first-ever game, which should be a monumental moment, many questioned her skills and the kick. I remember seeing all over social media, teenage boys and even grown men saying that her kick wasn’t good and “didn’t go anywhere.” This was among several sexist comments, regarding the topic of “why women cannot play or aren’t good at sports.” Little did they know the kick was 100% intentional. It was intentionally punted short, for Vanderbilt to regain possession. This was because Vanderbilt was losing at the time, so they needed to ensure that they got the ball to prohibit Missouri from gaining more yards.

Despite all the hate she is receiving, she is keeping her head held high and focusing on the game. She stated that she doesn’t care what people think or say about her because she has achieved so much. Also going on to say that she’s earned everything that she has received, she worked hard to get to where she is, and won’t let anyone take that from her. Being a D1 soccer player is a huge achievement in itself, and then going on to kick for a power five football team is just insane! Sarah Fuller is an inspiration for young girls who play or want to play sports. To all the women out there, remember to play like a girl and never give up!