Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller becomes first female to play in a Power Five football game

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COLUMBIA, MISSOURI – NOVEMBER 28: Sarah Fuller #32 of the Vanderbilt Commodores walks on the field prior to a game against the Mizzou Tigers at Memorial Stadium on November 28, 2020 in Columbia, Missouri. Fuller, a senior goalkeeper on Vanderbilt’s SEC championship soccer team became the first woman to play in a Power 5 NCAA football game. (Photo by Hunter Dyke/Mizzou Athletics via Getty Images)

Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- Big moments are meant to be made, but like Vanderbilt head football coach Derek Mason said, you never know when it will happen.

“I believe there are moments in time that nobody really knows about or they can’t forecast. I think there was something bigger at work here,” said Mason.

Six days ago, Vanderbilt women’s soccer player Sarah Fuller was celebrating an SEC Championship; fast forward to Saturday and the Commodores goaltender found herself making history, becoming the first female to play in a Power Five football game.

“Honestly it’s so exciting. To know that I can go out there and represent the little girls out there that thought about playing football or any sport really, it encourages them to do something big like this.”

Fuller suited up for the Commodores game at Missouri, but her special moment came when she stepped on the field and kicked off the second half. She was not phased one bit.

“I just had to go out there and do my thing. I know exactly what we needed to do and I had the team behind me. The nerves were more there for the SEC Championship, so going out there and kicking the football wasn’t too bad,” added Fuller.

After the game, Vanderbilt quarterback Mike Wright had a lot to say about his new teammate. Earlier in the week he took to Twitter, making it clear that she was added to the roster to help the team win.

“I can ensure you that Sarah was welcomed with open arms. We were excited that she joined the team. And one thing that nobody really knows is that Sarah actually gave a speech at halftime,” said Wright.

That’s the truth. Fuller said when it comes down to it, she just wanted to feel more energy on the sideline.

“Going back to the SEC Championship, our sideline was what kept us going. I just wanted to go in and tell the guys that we need to get pumped up, we need to cheer each other on. That’s the only way I’ve seen it work, when everyone is supporting one another,” said Fuller.

The support for Fuller was certainly heard throughout the country, even the world. But this day was extremely special for all those “Girl Dads” out there. Mason is the father of two daughters and said he couldn’t be more proud of this moment.

“She made some history. She did what most thought would never be done. I’ve always said something in my program – people are limitless, not limited. Sarah Fuller was able to show that this game is not limited to one sex,” said Mason.

As for what’s next for Fuller, she wants to continue working on her craft on the gridiron.

“I’d love to get back out there and score a field goal or an extra point, so I would be happy to if they will have me,” said Fuller.

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