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U of M Bisons kicker becomes the first woman to play and score in U Sports football game

University of Manitoba Bisons kicker Maya Turner becomes the first woman to play and score in a U Sports regular season game. Alex Karpa reports.

Saturday night was a night to remember for kicker Maya Turner. Not only did she kick to win the game for the Manitoba Bisons, but she became the first woman to play and score in a regular season U Sports football game.

Turner, from Minnesota, made history with a 21-yard field goal at 9:48 of the first quarter to record her first points, but wasn’t done there. She, of course, kicked the final field goal of the game, and converted all three of her extra point attempts, equalling a total of nine points in the game. For Turner, a dream come true.

“Yeah, it was definitely a huge accomplishment when I committed here (University of Manitoba) because I wasn’t totally sure I would be able to do that, make a university men’s football team at this level. Ever since I have been here, I just feel like such a part of the team, and it’s great,” Turner explained.

Turner played NCAA Division I soccer for Loyola University in Chicago before joining the Bisons. She had previously become the first woman to score points in a U Sports game when she kicked a 25-yard field goal in a Bisons pre-season game last year.

During his post-game speech in the locker room, U of M Bisons Head Coach Brian Dobie congratulated Turner before awarding her the game ball. It was hard for him to contain his excitement.

“When she came off the field after the kick, and I eventually got to her to congratulate her, she was swarmed by everybody, put my hands on her shoulder, and I said, ‘I’m so happy for you, I’m so proud of you, and I am saying that as the head coach of a university football team and as the father of a daughter,’” said Dobie.

Dobie says amidst all the excitement, Turner came to the U of M to play football and be the kicker of the team.

“She’s extremely focused, extremely professional, extreme workaholic, and at the end of the day, that’s why she has accomplished what she has. I have to keep bringing it back to that because the emotional side of it is so present right now, and understandably so for everybody,” he explained.

Turner says she hopes she can break down barriers for women in sport.

“If football is your sport, and you want to play in university, it can be done. If you can compete at that level, then there is nothing stopping you,” said Turner.

“It can be done, and it is possible if that’s what you really want to do and you put your mind to it.”

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