Liz Heaston

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Elizabeth "Liz" Heaston
Willamette Bearcats – No. 39[1]
Career history
High schoolRichland
Personal information
Born:1977 (age 41–42)
Richland (WA)
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight120 lb (54 kg)
Career highlights and awards
  • First woman to play and score in college football

Elizabeth Heaston Thompson (born 1977) is an American athlete who is the first woman ever to score in a college football game. She accomplished this feat on October 18, 1997 as a placekicker for the Willamette Bearcats football team of Willamette University, which then competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) for small colleges.[2] She also played women's soccer for Willamette. Heaston's accomplishment was widely noted by the media and the sports community.


Heaston was raised in Richland, Washington. After graduating she enrolled at Willamette University, where she became a star soccer player, earning All-American honorable mention in 1996 and 1997.[3] In 1997 she joined the football team as a backup placekicker. She became the first woman to play and score points in a college football game during a match between Willamette and Linfield College on October 18, 1997. The 5-foot-5-inch, 120-pound soccer player entered the game as a replacement kicker for Willamette and kicked two extra points as her team won 27-0.[3] The accomplishment resulted in interviews with The Today Show and CBS This Morning.[4]

Heaston's football career lasted two games; she made two of four extra point attempts.[5][6] Her jersey hangs on display at the College Football Hall of Fame.[7]

The following year Heaston played only soccer at Willamette, and graduated with a biology degree in 1999.[3] She attended graduate school at Pacific University where she earned a doctorate in optometry and met her husband Trent Thompson.[3] She has one daughter, Isabella, and a son and lives and works in her hometown of Richland, Washington, where she works at her father's optometry office along with her husband.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Trimble, Jamie (August 20, 2007). "Alumni Spotlight: Liz Heaston '99 Gets Kicks in more than One Sport". Willamette University Athletics. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  2. ^ Woolum, Janet (1998). Outstanding women athletes: who they are and how they influenced sports in America. Oryx Press. p. 33. ISBN 1-57356-120-7.
  3. ^ a b c d e Timbrell, Jamie (August 20, 2007). "Alumni Spotlight: Liz Heaston'99 Gets Kicks in more than One Sport". Willamette University. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
  4. ^ Rios, Camila (October 12, 2018). "Local woman makes college football history in 1997". NZBC News Right Now-KNDU 25. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  5. ^ "Interview with Bob Ley".
  6. ^ "Woman Kicks Extra Points". The New York Times. October 20, 1997. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  7. ^ "College Football Week 7: In the Spotlight". Los Angeles Times. October 18, 1998. Retrieved March 9, 2012.

External links[edit]