Van Voorhis becomes first woman non-kicker to play in NCAA football game

September 27, 2023 / Athletic AdministrationFootball
Haley Van Voorhis, a safety at Division-III Shenandoah University, became the first woman non-kicker to appear in an NCAA football game on Saturday against Juniata.

With Shenandoah already up 26 points in the second quarter, she entered the game and quickly registered a quarterback hurry on third down.

van voorhisVan Hoorhis joins the room of NCAA female football players, alongside Katie Hnida — a placekicker who became the first female to score in an NCAA football game in 2003 — and Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller.

“It’s an amazing thing,” Van Voorhis said after the game, according to The Washington Post. “I just wanted to get out and do my thing. I want to show other people this is what women can do, to show what I can do. It’s a big moment. I made the impossible possible, and I’m excited about that.”

Shenandoah went on to beat Juniata 48-7.

Hailing from The Plains, VA, Van Voorhis went to Christchurch High School, where she earned a 2019 Football All-State Honorable Mention and basketball MVP honors. The 5’6 junior committed to the Hornets in April 2021 and played junior varsity for two years before suiting up for the varsity squad for the first time this year. Van Voorhis is also a sprinter on the women’s track team and plays a role in the 4×4 relay.

In an interview with ESPN in 2021, Van Voorhis said she’s used to people pointing out that she’s the only girl playing football, whether it was during Pop Warner or at high school.

“There’s definitely people out there who see the story and think, ‘This girl’s going to get hurt,'” she said. “I hear that a lot. Or, ‘She’s too small, doesn’t weigh enough, not tall enough.’ But I’m not the shortest on my team, and I’m not the lightest.”