- Sarah Fuller made history as the first woman to participate in a major Division I football game when she kicked for the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday.
- The soccer goalkeeper said she delivered an impassioned halftime speech to the team after noticing a lack of enthusiasm on the sidelines.
- “I just went in there and I said exactly what I was thinking,” Fuller said. “I was like, ‘We need to be cheering each other on. This is how you win games.'”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Sarah Fuller is doing more than making college-football history for the Vanderbilt Commodores.
She’s also ready to help turn the team around.
Fuller became the first woman to participate in a Division I football game when she kicked for Derek Mason’s Vanderbilt squad against the Missouri Tigers on Saturday.
Mason lost his head-coaching gig on Sunday after the winless Commodores failed to score a single point in the SEC matchup. Fuller, a soccer goalkeeper turner kicker, was quick to recognise an attitude problem on the sidelines that might have contributed to the team’s losing ways.
Even though she had only just joined the team, Fuller didn’t hesitate to call her new teammates out in an impassioned halftime speech.
“I just went in there and I said exactly what I was thinking,” Fuller told reporters after Saturday’s game, per ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. “I was like, ‘We need to be cheering each other on. This is how you win games. This is how you get better is by calling each other out for stuff, and I’m going to call you guys out. We need to be supporting one another.'”
Fuller knows a thing or two about what it takes to win. At the time of her historic kick for the school’s football team, the starting netminder was less than a week removed from winning the SEC championship with the women’s soccer team.
Fuller, a native of Wylie, Texas, said she and her teammates were cheering throughout their 3-1 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks. She credited those “nonstop” cheers with powering the program to its first title in 26 years.
“During the SEC tournament, my entire team was cheering the entire time,” Fuller said. “It didn’t matter if we were in the locker room or if they were on the sidelines. I think they’re what won it for us.”
The atmosphere on the sidelines during Saturday’s game couldn’t have been more different â€” Fuller said it was apparent early on that enthusiasm was lacking among her new football teammates.
“If I’m going to be honest, I was a little pissed off at how quiet everybody was on the sideline,” Fuller said. “We made a first down, and I was the only one cheering, and I was like, ‘What the heck? What’s going on?’ And I tried to get them pumped up.”
As it turns out, Fuller wasn’t the only one thinking those things. She said coaches came up to her after her halftime speech and told her they’d “been wanting to say that for a while now.”
Players were on the same page, Fuller said.
“I had guys come up to me. I hope I gained their respect,” she said, per ABC News. “It wasn’t ill-intentioned at all. I just want this team to succeed and do well.”
The Commodores are scheduled to take on the No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs Saturday at 4 p.m. Though it remains unclear whether Fuller will join the team down in Athens, she said she’s “sticking around until someone tells me to go.”
- Read more:
- Sarah Fuller said haters can ‘talk crap all they want’ about her historic stint with Vanderbilt football team
- Women’s soccer star Sarah Fuller makes college football history with kickoff for Vanderbilt
- A women’s soccer star has joined Vanderbilt’s COVID-riddled football team, and she’s set to make college football history
- Kristie Mewis scored during her first USWNT appearance in 6 years, and her younger sister was the first player to hug her in celebration
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.