Kathryn Nesbitt Becomes First Woman To Officiate A Major Men’s Championship Match In North America

Nesbitt was one of the assistant referees in the MLS Cup Final between Seattle and Columbus on Saturday.

History was made at the MLS Cup final on Saturday night. Kathryn Nesbitt became the first woman to officiate a championship match in a major men’s professional sport in North America.

Nesbitt was one of the assistant referees with Jair Marrufo taking charge as the head referee. In November, Nesbitt was named MLS Assistant Referee of the Year, the first time a woman has won a refereeing award in North America’s top five men’s sports leagues. (Nesbitt also officiated the MLS Is Back final in August.)

Nesbitt isn’t the only woman making history at the highest levels in men’s soccer. Stéphanie Frappart recently became the first woman to take charge of a men’s UEFA Champions League match, just the latest barrier the French ref has broken.

Additionally on Saturday, Sarah Fuller became the first woman to score a point in a Power 5 conference American football game, kicking two extra points for Vanderbilt. Fuller joined the Commodores’ football team after leading the women’s soccer team to an SEC tournament title as the starting goalkeeper.

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