Sarah Fuller, an SEC champion in women's soccer, made college football history Saturday afternoon for Vanderbilt. Wearing No. 32 and with her parents in attendance, Fuller's historic extra point against Tennessee made her the first female student-athlete to score in a major conference college football game. The kick tied the game at 7.
HISTORY 🙌— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 12, 2020
Sarah Fuller is the first woman to score in a Power 5 game. pic.twitter.com/Paq7WS24zu
Fuller's Vanderbilt uniform and helmet are now displayed at the Chick-Fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. Here's the Hall of Fame's curator Jeremy Swick on the decision to include Fuller's achievement in college football immortality:
"At the Chick-Fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, we are the keepers of the stories of college football. I am fortunate in my position as Historian and Curator to be a storyteller. Sarah Fuller’s story is one we believed needed to be shared. To be the first to do something is always exciting. As Sarah was the first woman to play and score in a [major conference] contest with Vanderbilt. What’s also mentioned in the exhibit is Sarah’s championship pedigree with the women’s soccer team and ambitions to continue playing soccer at North Texas. We are honored to share her story."
On display @cfbhall is the uniform of @VandyFootball kicker @SarahFuller_27; who made history as the first female to play and score in a Power 5 college football game. Congrats Sarah and thank you for entrusting us with the safe keeping of this rich piece of history! #AnchorDown pic.twitter.com/Dy79gJJnZ6— College Football Hall of Fame (@cfbhall) December 18, 2020
Fuller's milestone kick followed two weeks after she became the first female student-athlete to play in a major conference college football game, a feat she accomplished against Missouri.
"It's just so exciting," Fuller told ESPN after the Missouri game. "The fact that I can represent the little girls out there who want to do this or thought about playing football or any sport really. And [I hope] it encourages them to be able to step out and do something big like this."
MORE: Before Sarah Fuller broke through national gender barriers, she first had to break through her own
When asked how she prepared during halftime for her historic kick, Fuller said she was really calm. "The SEC championship was more stressful if I'm going to be honest."
Watch the historic moment below, which was a designed pooch kick with the Commodores trailing 24-0. She joins Katie Hnida (New Mexico, 2003) and April Goss (Kent State, 2015) as the only females to see action in an FBS game.
HISTORY MADE 👏@VandyFootball’s Sarah Fuller is the first woman in college football history to play in a Power 5 game. pic.twitter.com/zhSaLqa3Bg— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 28, 2020
In a pregame interview with ESPN, Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason described Fuller as fearless. Here's the full conversation, including Mason's decision to call on Fuller:
"Her nickname on this team is Champ." -@CoachDerekMason #RTI | #AnchorDown pic.twitter.com/5lw9KCzA3N— Vanderbilt Football (@VandyFootball) November 28, 2020
As a senior goalkeeper for the Vanderbilt women’s soccer team, the Wylie, Texas native started nine games in 2020 and posted three clean sheets through the Commodores' SEC Championship winning season. Fuller’s 0.97 goals against average stands as Vanderbilt’s eighth-best mark in a season.
Fuller has been selected to the SEC Academic Honor Roll each year of her career, but her off-the-field successes do not stop there. In 2019, the Medicine, Health and Society major worked with the Nashville Adult Literacy Council, and over the summer, she led a team in an effort to help End Slavery Tennessee market a tea produced by Thistle Farms.
But against Missouri, her mission was to inspire women to play sports, to play like girls.
Tomorrow I will be wearing “Play Like a Girl” on the back of my helmet. @iplaylikeagirl is nonprofit that encourages girls to play sports and get exposure to STEM opportunities. Check them out! #playlikeagirl https://t.co/2inXh5PM2V pic.twitter.com/W7lF9dXkUR— Sarah Fuller (@SarahFuller_27) November 27, 2020