GLENS FALLS, NY (NEWS10) — Morgan Smith’s football career started on a high school dare. A few of her friends challenging the soccer standout to kick a field goal. She knew she could make the kick, and she did. Now she’s making history as the first woman ever to play in the Empire Football League.

That kick inspired Morgan to join the South Glens Falls varsity football team, where she fell in love with the sport. But her first love was on the soccer pitch, so she attended Franklin Pierce University to play soccer.

It took just one season for Smith to switch from the Ravens’ soccer team to the football team. In 2019, Smith became the first woman in Northeast-10 conference history to score a point in Division II football. In her two-year career with Franklin Pierce, she converted on 11 of 15 extra points, and went 1-1 on field goal attempts.

After deciding to return home and attend graduate school at the University at Albany, Smith saw an opportunity to join the nearby Glens Falls Greenjackets, a semi-pro football team out of the EFL. In doing so, she became the first female ever to play in the league’s 53-year history.

But for the 22-year-old, those are just words. It’s her tremendous passion for the game that brought her to achieve that milestone.

“I’m not doing it to be the first. I’m just doing it because I love the sport,” said Smith. “Going to our first home game, and seeing the little girls that want to play, and that are inspired to play because of me, that’s the best feeling in the world. I just want women to feel like they can be in football.”

It wasn’t just her courageous act to join the Greenjackets that garnered her respect amongst her new teammates. She’s got the game to boot; she’s drilled field goals in practice from up to 40 yards. Those two components endeared her to the group almost immediately.

“My teammates are the best people in the world,” said Smith. “I know that they have my back through and through. And I never have to worry when I’m out there on the field. You know, they support me, and I support them. They’re like brothers to me at this point.”

And with that impressive leg strength, Smith’s head coach, Steven Johnson, knows how valuable she’ll be to the team’s success moving forward.

“She’s just really automatic from the extra point, and hopefully we can get her going with some field goals coming up this Saturday,” said Johnson. “If we can get in the red zone, or a little beyond, I’m going for it; I’m trying it. I trust her.”

Smith’s goals this season lie beyond stats and the win/loss column. She hopes to continue inspiring young athletes, and foster their dream of playing football.

“My best piece of advice for anyone looking to get into football, especially women, is that you can do it,” said Smith. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. There’ll be people that tell you that women don’t belong in football; that you’re not strong enough, not big enough. But don’t let them tell you that. You’re going to be just fine. You can do what I do.”

Smith and the Greenjackets cruised to victory over the Plattsburgh North Stars Saturday, improving their record to 2-1. They’ll look to make it three straight wins next week when they take on the Auburn Pride.