Dec 12, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores place kicker Sarah Fuller (32) before the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt cancellation ends Fuller’s historic football run

With Vanderbilt’s game Saturday against No. 9 Georgia canceled because of COVID-19 concerns, Sarah Fuller’s history-making college football career is over.

The kicker announced on Twitter on Monday night — hours after the SEC canceled the Commodores’ season finale — that her time with the football team is done. She thanked those involved in helping her make national headlines over the last few weeks.

“It looks like my time as a football player has come to an end,” Fuller said in a message posted in the tweet. “I would like to personally thank the entire Vanderbilt football team, coaches, and support staff for this amazing opportunity to be a part of this program. I was accepted as an athlete and a true member of this team. This was an experience that I will never forget and will cherish forever. Good luck to the seniors and staff who are moving on to new adventures. My best wishes to the team as this program moves forward and continues to grow.”

In November, Fuller became the first woman to play in a Power 5 game, kicking off once in a 41-0 loss to Missouri. Against Tennessee on Saturday, she became the first woman to score for a Power 5 team when she kicked a pair of extra points in the Commodores’ 42-17 loss.

She was named SEC special teams co-player of the week after her first game.

Vanderbilt, which earlier Monday announced the hiring of Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea to be its new head coach, finished its season 0-9.

Fuller became the third woman to play in a Division I college football game, following in kickers Katie Hnida (New Mexico, 2003) and April Goss (Kent State, 2015).

Fuller, a senior from Wylie, Texas, started nine of 12 games at goalkeeper for Vanderbilt’s SEC championship women’s soccer team this fall before being added to the football roster.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores place kicker Sarah Fuller (32) kicks an extra point against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt’s Fuller first woman to score in Power 5 football game

Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller became the first female to score in a Power 5 football game when she made an extra point in the first quarter of Saturday’s game against Tennessee in Southeastern Conference action in Nashville.

Fuller’s kick followed Ken Seals’ 18-yard touchdown pass to Cam Johnson with 1:50 left in the first quarter, tying the game 7-7.

Last month, Fuller became the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game when her second-half squib kickoff went 30 yards during a 41-0 loss at Missouri. She was named SEC special teams co-player of the week for her performance.

Fuller became the third woman to play in a Division I college football game, following in the path of kickers Katie Hnida (New Mexico, 2003) and April Goss (Kent State, 2015).

Fuller, a senior from Wylie, Texas, started nine of 12 games at goalkeeper for Vanderbilt’s SEC championship women’s soccer team this fall before being added to the football roster.

–Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2020; Columbia, MO, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores kicker Sarah Fuller (32) before the game against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Hunter Dyke/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

SEC names Fuller a special teams player of the week

Sarah Fuller made history over the weekend.

She received some league-wide recognition for her achievement on Monday.

Vanderbilt’s Fuller, who became the first woman to play during a regular-season game in one of college football’s Power 5 conferences when she took the opening kickoff in the second half against Missouri on Saturday, was named one of the SEC’s special teams players of the week.

Fuller, the starting goalkeeper for the Commodores’ women’s soccer team, executed a squib kick that traveled 30 yards and was downed at the Missouri 35-yard line during the Tigers’ 41-0 win. Her opportunity came because several of Vanderbilt’s specialists were unavailable due to COVID-19 protocol.

Fuller became the third woman to play in a Division I college football game, following in the path of kickers Katie Hnida (New Mexico, 2003) and April Goss (Kent State, 2015).

Florida punt returner Kadarius Toney shared the special teams player of the week honor with Fuller.

–Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores place kicker Sarah Fuller (32) looks on  during warm ups before a game against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

History: Fuller becomes first woman to play for Power Five team

Sarah Fuller of Vanderbilt made college football history on Saturday when she became the first woman to play in a game for a Power Five team.

She got her opportunity when she kicked off to open the second half with Vanderbilt trailing 21-0. The squib kick traveled 30 yards and was covered by a Missouri player at the Tigers’ 35-yard line.

The 6-foot-2 Fuller is the goalkeeper for Vanderbilt’s women’s soccer team, which won the SEC championship last weekend.

She joined kickers Katie Hnida (New Mexico, 2003) and April Goss (Kent State, 2015) as the only women to play in a Division I college football game.

Fuller wore No. 32 for the Commodores (0-7, 0-7 SEC) and the phrase “Play Like A Girl” was stripped across the back of her helmet. She was pressed into service for the football team when the Commodores’ kickers became unavailable because of COVID-19 protocols. She tried out for the team earlier this week and was the only kicker to travel with the team to Columbia, Mo.

“She’s got a strong leg,” coach Derek Mason said earlier in the week. “We’ll figure out what that looks like on Saturday.”

Fuller was amazed by the opportunity.

“I think it’s amazing and incredible,” Fuller said Friday. “But I’m also trying to separate that because I know this is a job I need to do and I want to help the team out and I want to do the best that I can. Placing that historical aspect aside just helps me focus in on what I need to do. I don’t want to let them down in anyway. It’s an honor they called on me to be able to do this and help them out.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores head coach Derek Mason yells at Vanderbilt Commodores safety Justin Harris (11) after a play during the second half against the LSU Tigers at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt women’s soccer player ‘an option’ at kicker

Vanderbilt women’s soccer player Sarah Fuller could be lending a hand, or more appropriately a foot, to the school’s football team.

Commodores football coach Derek Mason said Fuller is an option when discussing the team’s need for a kicker on 102.5 The Game in Nashville on Wednesday. Vanderbilt currently finds itself in need of a kicker due to COVID-19 quarantines.

“For us, talking to Sarah, she’s a champ, and no pun intended — just coming off an SEC championship in soccer,” Mason said. “… She’s a complete competitor. She’s an option for us. Right now, that’s where we sit.”

The Vanderbilt Hustler, the school’s student newspaper, first reported that Fuller was in full pads when she participated in Tuesday’s practice with the football team.

Should she play for Vanderbilt (0-7 overall, 0-7 Southeastern Conference) in Saturday’s game at Missouri (3-3, 3-3), it is believed that Fuller will be the first woman to record a snap in a Power 5 game. New Mexico’s Katie Hnida was the first woman to play in a Division I college football game in 2003.

Fuller, a goalkeeper, posted a 7-2-0 record and allowed nine goals in nine matches this season for the Vanderbilt women’s soccer team.

–Field Level Media