Sarah Fuller made football history, now she has to win back her day job.
Fuller’s football career ended when Vanderbilt’s finale against Georgia was canceled over COVID-19 concerns. She is now returning to the Commodores’ soccer team for the upcoming NCAA Tournament, though she is in a fight for the starting goaltender position.
“The truth is she has to earn her spot back,” Vanderbilt soccer coach Darren Ambrose told The Tennessean. “No matter what success she’s had in football, she was in a very competitive situation (at goalkeeper) and did very well for us in the SEC tournament. But she knows that when we come back in January, she’s got to be ready to go.”
Fuller led Vanderbilt to the SEC Tournament championship with wins over Mississippi State, Tennessee, Texas A&M and top-seeded Arkansas.
And since then, Fuller became the first woman to play for a Power Five conference team, kicking off in Vanderbilt’s loss to Missouri and then hitting two extra points in a defeat to Tennessee on Saturday.
COVID-19 pushed back the NCAA women’s soccer tournament and the bracket will be released on April 18. According to The Tennessean, Sophie Guilmette started the first three games of the season for Vanderbilt before the senior Fuller took over.
“Sarah and I had this conversation two or three days ago, about the transition,” Ambrose said. “I told her, ‘You’ve earned (the starting position) this year. It’s yours to lose now.’… “She played incredibly well in the SEC tournament. She’s got to repeat it and keep doing it.”
Due to injuries suffered earlier in her career, Fuller has two years of eligibility left and will be transferring to North Texas to get her master’s degree in hospital administration. She plans to continue her soccer career for the Mean Green, but has no current plans to try out for the football team.
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