Six days after leading the Vanderbilt Women’s Soccer Team to a Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship, Sarah Fuller made history as the first woman to grace the field in a power five football game.
Juliana Seewald, sophomore, is a player on the Hopkins girls’ varsity soccer team. After watching Fuller’s historic debut, Seewald was fueled with inspiration but was taken aback after witnessing the backlash that she received.
“There are many haters who are filled with fear that women are just as equal to men, and can do great things like men can,” Seewald said. “I and many believe we are all equal, and Fuller and others are just the beginning.”
After Fuller’s debut, she joined a rapidly growing list of women who are trailblazers in their field.
Less than a month before the squib kick heard around the world, Kim Ng became the first female general manager of a Major League Baseball (MLB) team.
Even more recently, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) took a colossal step in their equal pay lawsuit, as they reached an agreement regarding equal working conditions.
Eliza Polyak, senior, and treasurer of Girls United, recently finished her final season on the varsity tennis team. She hopes that young girls will be inspired by women in sports, the same way she has been.
“I think it is super important that young girls have good role models within their sports,” Polyak said. “Everytime I watch my role models succeed and break records for women, it really helps push me within my sports.”
One of Seewald’s idols is two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, Abby Wambach.
“She is super inspirational, powerful, and a strong feminist. She made me think a lot about everything and made me view and act on things like failure and leadership very differently,” Seewald said.
While there are many inspiring female athletes to look up to, there have been numerous occasions where the glass ceiling feels unbreakable.
“When I was watching the 2020 US Open, the announcer kept bringing up the fact that the players were both mothers and how crazy it was that they were playing in the finals,” Polyak said. “They never talk about how two men are fathers.”
Although there is still a long way to go, women everywhere continue to be inspired by the strong leaders both in the game and behind the scenes.
“When I see a strong, successful female in sports it inspires me to keep working hard and not give up,” Seewald said. “It inspires me to give 100 percent because if I really wanted it, that could be me one day.”