Sarah Fuller becomes a beacon of hope

Inspires young female athletes

Aisha Hersi

Sarah Fuller became an unbelievable inspiration to all women and little girls who watch in awe seeing someone just like them do something no one has ever done before. Fuller wore the No. 32, the same number she wears on her soccer jersey, and a helmet with the phrase “Play Like a Girl.” Fuller’s accomplishment will leave an impact on the lives and dreams of many, including mine. 

Fuller wasn’t always a kicker for the men’s football team. Before, she was an impeccable goalkeeper for Vanderbilt’s women soccer team.

In an interview with The New York Times, Fuller expressed her relief for the impact she has on young girls. “How do I define it? I honestly haven’t taken a second to soak it all in, really,” Fuller said. “I just think it’s incredible that I am able to do this, and all I want to do is be a good influence to the young girls out there. … You can do anything you set your mind to.”

Being the only woman on the team doesn’t phase her. Getting limitless amounts of hate doesn’t phase her. Being looked down on by her own crowd doesn’t phase her. However, being underestimated does. Fuller is able to take it all, whatever is thrown her way. Such criticism hasn’t shaken Fuller’s confidence in her own abilities or rightly earning the role in the men’s Vanderbilt team. 

A standing ovation is what she deserves. This is bigger than just football. Fuller’s willingness to try something new is quite impressive, especially when many of the team’s players had either gone home for the holidays or been forced to quarantine. 

Before the game against Missouri Nov. 28, she had never played football in her entire life. Fuller was a goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team. It was her clear determination that pursued Fuller to do her best. Fuller’s experience motivates me to try my best in any given situation. I believe that many women around the world will look to Fuller’s situation and break barriers, just like her.

Fuller wore the message “Play Like a Girl” on the back of her helmet, wanted to make it clear to young women that there are a lot of “ups and downs” on the path to success. With her parents watching from the stand while wearing handmade “Play like a girl” masks, Fuller opened the second half with a low kick that bounced to the 35, starting her historic journey.