Haley Van Voorhis, a Shenandoah University safety, made history as the first female non-kicker in an NCAA football game during Saturday’s match against Juniata. Entering in the first quarter while Shenandoah led by 26, she pressured the quarterback on a third-down play.
Van Voorhis expressed her excitement post-game, stating she aimed to inspire other women to break barriers in sports. Shenandoah claimed a 48-7 victory over Juniata.
The junior player, who is 5-foot-6 and weighs 145 pounds, had previously played two seasons on junior varsity. She hails from Plains, Virginia, and attended Christchurch High School, receiving all-state honorable mention in 2019 before her senior season was canceled due to the pandemic.
Also a sprinter on Shenandoah’s track team, Van Voorhis has been accustomed to being the lone female on her football teams since her Pop Warner days. Despite facing skepticism about her size and potential for injury, she remains undeterred.
Shenandoah coach Scott Yoder praised Van Voorhis’s determination and emphasized that her quest for opportunity is no different than that of any young athlete he’s coached in his 21-year career.