With football players in quarantine, Vanderbilt considers using a women’s soccer player at kicker

A week after she helped the Vanderbilt women’s soccer team win the SEC tournament, Sarah Fuller is an “option” to kick for the football team Saturday, which could put her in position to become the first woman to play in a Power Five conference game.



a close up of a person wearing a helmet: Vanderbilt football Coach Derek Mason says using soccer goalkeeper Sarah Fuller at kicker is a possibility this week. (Wade Payne/Associated Press File)


© Wade Payne/AP
Vanderbilt football Coach Derek Mason says using soccer goalkeeper Sarah Fuller at kicker is a possibility this week. (Wade Payne/Associated Press File)

Fuller, a senior goalkeeper from Wylie, Tex., was in uniform as the team practiced for its next-to-last game of the season. Vanderbilt is 0-7 and shorthanded with several special teams players in coronavirus quarantine ahead of the game at Missouri.

“Right now we’re just looking at all options,” Vanderbilt Coach Derek Mason said Wednesday on Nashville’s 102.5 the Game radio station. “Sarah, her coach Darren Ambrose and I are extremely close. Obviously, I followed them through the tournament. For us it’s like any week in college football; you’re subject to testing and then based on testing you’ve got to figure out options of where you go.”

Fuller was a logical choice, according to Mason, and her soccer season ended last week.

“Talking to Sarah, she’s a champ. No pun intended,” Mason said. “Just coming off an SEC championship in soccer and then coming out and just looking at what we do and how we do it, she’s a complete competitor. She’s an option for us and, right now, that’s where we sit.”

The school newspaper reported Fuller was in full pads and uniform but did not kick Tuesday. She went through walk-throughs with coaches and at least one kicking specialist on the sideline.

Fuller appeared in nine games in goal, making 28 saves for the 8-4 Commodores. She had three saves last weekend in Vanderbilt’s 3-1 upset of top-seeded Arkansas in the SEC title game.

The Commodores have struggled at the position, with kickers making only three of seven field goal attempts for the worst percentage in the SEC. They’ve made all 15 extra-point attempts. Oren Milstein opted not to play because of coronavirus concerns and Javan Rice, a 2018 signee, has not played and Pierson Cooke, a walk-on, has attempted every field goal, missing from 22 and 29 yards. Walk-on Wes Farley, a former high school soccer player, made six PAT attempts.

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