Maya Turner becomes first woman to score in U Sports regular-season football game

WINNIPEG — University of Manitoba Bisons kicker Maya Turner had a day to remember on Saturday.

Turner became the first woman to play and score in a regular-season U Sports football game and capped it off by kicking a game-winning field goal to lead the Bisons past the University of Regina Rams 27-24 at IG Field.

"I'm so excited. It was such an unreal experience," said Turner postgame. "I think since the last field goal I've just been full of adrenaline and excitement. We won a big game, a tight game. The team fought all the way until the end. I'm just proud of everyone today."

The product of Maple Grove, Minn., made history with a 21-yard field goal at 9:48 of the second quarter to record her first points — and wasn't done there.

With the game tied 24-24 in overtime, Turner kicked another field goal from 21 yards to give Manitoba the lead. The Bisons defence then held off the Rams to secure the win.

Turner also converted all three of her extra point attempts to contribute a total of nine points in the game.

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 against the University of Saskatchewan.

Before joining the Bisons, Turner played NCAA Division I soccer for Loyola University in Chicago.

Turner became the second woman to make the Bisons football roster after defensive back Reina Iizuka became the first female U Sports football player.

Iizuka, however, never dressed in a regular-season game from 2018 to 2020.

South of the border, Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller blazed a trail by becoming the first woman to play and score for an NCAA Power Five conference team in 2020.

Kristie Elliott was the first Canadian woman to accomplish both feats in an NCAA football game in 2021.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly had Turner's first field goal coming in the first quarter instead of the second.