By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports activities Author
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Sarah Fuller has a soccer souvenir from her history-making second. The ball from her second additional level doubtless is headed to the Faculty Soccer Corridor of Fame.
Being handled like simply one other athlete? That is the perfect a part of turning into the primary girl to attain in an influence 5 convention sport, lastly getting the possibility to do greater than squib a kickoff for Vanderbilt throughout a 42-17 loss to Tennessee.
“This complete time has been if I can do it, if I’m ok to do it,” Fuller mentioned. “It wasn’t if I used to be a woman or not. In order that’s one thing I’ve actually appreciated. On the finish of the day, they handled me like an athlete and that’s the perfect I may ask for.”
She made historical past Nov. 28 as the primary girl to play in a Energy 5 sport, however was on the sphere solely as soon as, driving a low kickoff to open the second half because the Commodores acquired shut out at Missouri.
Vanderbilt interim coach Todd Fitch mentioned particular groups coordinator Devin Fitzsimmons had been charting kicks, particularly shut the place the Commodores had struggled this season with few alternatives in video games.
“So it was actually, actually off statistics of the week’s preparation,” Fitch mentioned. “It wasn’t about, , making an attempt to do one thing particular. It was actually who made probably the most of these kicks.”
With Vanderbilt (0-9) getting the possibility to play after suspending final week’s sport at Georgia, the Commodores performed with simply 49 scholarship gamers and eventually gave the goalkeeper for the Southeastern Convention girls’s soccer match champs a chance to place up factors.
Fuller, listed second out of three accessible kickers on the depth chart, got here out for the additional level that tied the sport at 7 with 1:50 left within the first quarter.
The 6-foot-2 senior put the ball by the uprights and celebrated by pulling her fist in earlier than slapping high-fives with teammates. She ran off the sphere with a giant smile together with her household within the stands all with their arms up within the air. Middle decide Chris Garner handed her the ball on the sideline.
Fuller’s second probability got here with 7:22 left within the fourth quarter on the different finish of the sphere, and she or he kicked the ball by.
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt, who had a daughter earlier this yr, mentioned it was superior.
“She’s clearly a winner,” Pruitt mentioned about Fuller. “And she or he walked up there and kicked it proper by. So I simply suppose it says a complete lot about her and actually, sort of her fortitude to be courageous sufficient to go do that.”
Vanderbilt misplaced its 13th consecutive SEC sport, its longest skid since dropping 23 straight between 2000 and 2003.
Tennessee (3-6) left with the much-needed victory with Harrison Bailey and J.T. Shrout throwing for 2 touchdowns apiece.
The Volunteers snapped their longest skid in 32 years after matching the six straight losses to begin the 1988 season and averted the longest skid in historical past at a program that began taking part in soccer in 1891. This additionally was their second straight win over Vanderbilt for the primary time since 2014-15.
“It was fairly good,” Pruitt mentioned. “Good to see some smiles on some guys’ faces.”
Vanderbilt performed with simply 49 scholarship gamers, not counting Fuller, with solely 18 accessible on protection after defensive lineman and sack chief Dayo Odeyingbo opted out earlier this week.
The Commodores led 10-7 early within the second after a 39-yard discipline aim from Pierson Cooke, a kick simply exterior Fuller’s vary of 38 yards.
Tennessee took management scoring 21 factors within the second quarter. Bryce Thompson began the scoring, snagging an interception together with his left hand and working 18 yards for a TD. Shrout threw a 23-yard TD move to Velus Jones Jr. and added a 28-yarder to Jalin Hyatt late for a 28-10 halftime lead.
Jones caught a 74-yarder from Bailey with 7:03 left for the ultimate margin.
Tennessee: The Vols scored extra by halftime than that they had managed in any sport for the reason that second week of this SEC-only season in a win over Missouri, they usually wound up with probably the most factors this season. … Bailey began his second straight sport and accomplished his first 13 passes, which included Tennessee’s first TD on a 6-yarder to Princeton Fant. However he additionally misplaced a fumble when sacked by Andre Mintze.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores’ finest probability of their ultimate residence sport this season was for the offense to remain on the sphere. As an alternative, they went three-and-out 5 instances on their first eight drives, together with one ending on the pick-6. Ken Seals did by two TD passes. … The skinny protection got here up with its second interception of the season when Gabe Jeudy-Lally picked off a Shrout move within the fourth quarter.
Pruitt mentioned Tennessee had 14 or 15 gamers in quarantine. Vanderbilt was rather more shorthanded with Fitch saying three freshmen had been on the offensive line at one level. Whether or not the Commodores can end the season will depend upon whether or not they have sufficient gamers at particular positions.
“However we needed to play this sport, know we’re not trying to duck out of it or something,” Fitch mentioned.
Tennessee hosts No. 5 Texas A&M within the common season finale.
Vanderbilt is scheduled to go to No. 12 Georgia, a sport postponed from Dec. 5 to Dec. 19.
Observe Teresa M. Walker at https://twitter.com/TeresaMWalker
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