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Sarah Fuller becomes first woman to play in SEC football game

The Vanderbilt football kicker and women’s soccer goalkeeper made history handling the kickoff to open the third quarter.

Vanderbilt Commodores kicker Sarah Fuller made history on Saturday against the Missouri Tigers. She became the first woman to appear in a game for a P5 school, handling kickoff duties to open the second half. The special teams unit attempted a squib kick to prevent a big return. There was hope she would get a field goal or extra points opportunity in the first half, but the Vanderbilt offense lived up (or down) to its billing.

Fuller joined the football team because of Covid-19 issues. The team’s specialists had to quarantine, which left them short a place kicker. Enter Fuller, the goal keeper for the Vanderbilt women’s soccer team.

Fuller started nine of Vanderbilt’s 12 games during the fall 2020 season, posting three clean sheets on the way to a 7-2-0 record in net. She was the backup when the season started, but helped guide the ‘Dores to the SEC Tournament title. Her 0.97 goals against average is the eighth-best single-season in Vanderbilt soccer history.

As a senior, Fuller made her first career start against South Carolina on October 11th. She tallied six saves in the 2-1 double overtime loss, and never relinquished the position the rest of the season. 42 days later, she was an SEC Champion.