Yesterday, a soccer player at Vanderbilt University named Sarah Fuller made history when she participated as a kicker in a football game against the University of Missouri. Although her participation was limited to the second half kickoff due to Vanderbilt losing 41-0, it was the first time a female football player participated in a college football game among the Power Five Conferences (i.e. the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten Conference, Big Twelve Conference, Pac-12 Conference, and the Southeastern Conference).
Of course, she was not the first female to participate in a college football game. Here are some other woman who have done so:
- Katie Hnida, a kicker at the University of New Mexico whose attempt at an extra point was blocked in a 27-13 loss to UCLA in the 2002 Las Vegas bowl. The following season, she kicked two extra points in a 72-8 victory over Texas State University, and thus became the first woman to score in a NCAA Division I-A game (now the Football Bowl Subdivision). She had previously attended the University of Colorado, where she had only suited up for a few games there before transferring to New Mexico. She later revealed that she had been raped by one of her teammates while at Colorado.
- Ashley Martin, a kicker at Jacksonville State University who became the first woman to play and score in a NCAA Division I-AA (now the Football Championship Subdivision) game when she kicked three extra points in 72-10 win over Cumberland University.
- Elizabeth “Liz” Heaston Thompson, a kicker at Willamette University who became the first woman to score in a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) game when she kicked two extra points in a 27-0 win over Linfield College.
- Tonya Butler, a kicker at Middle Georgia College who became the first woman to kick a field goal in a Division II game (as well as making 36 out of 42 extra points). She graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Middle Georgia College, then went on to get her Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia Southern University (where she played soccer but not football). She then went on to attend graduate school at the University of West Alabama, and due to having two years of eligibility left, became the kicker and made 13 out of 19 field goal attempts, as well as 48 out of 53 extra point attempts.
Although Fuller did not score any points in the loss to Missouri, she will have another chance against the University of Georgia on Saturday.