The parents of Katie Meyer are opening up about their anguish over the loss of their daughter.
Stanford University confirmed Wednesday that Meyer, a star goalkeeper and captain of the Stanford Cardinal women’s soccer team, had died at age 22.
“The last couple days are like a parent’s worst nightmare, and you don’t wake up from it. So it’s just horrific,” a “heartbroken” Gina Meyer said in an emotional interview with the “Today” show on Friday.
Her parents told the outlet that she died by suicide.
Gina Meyer wore a red sweatshirt to her interview with “Today.” It was revealed near the end of the segment that the pullover belonged to her daughter.
“When you smell it, it smells like her,” Gina Meyer said as she and her husband, Steve Meyer, broke down in tears. “It smells like Katie. … I’m wearing it because I want to be close to her.”
Katie Meyer, a senior who was majoring in international relations at Stanford University, was known for memorably stopping two penalty shots from North Carolina during the 2019 NCAA College Cup championship game — bringing her team to victory.
Katie Meyer’s friends told “Today” the California native “lived life to the fullest, always.”
“I’ve never seen someone put so much heart and soul into so many different aspects of her life,” said Sierra Enge, a Stanford senior.
Katie Meyer’s parents believe that an ongoing disciplinary action from Stanford University may have contributed to their daughter’s death. They said that their daughter was defending a teammate, but did not reveal further details.
In a statement to “Today,” Stanford University said, “We are not able to share information about confidential student disciplinary matters. We as a university community continue to grieve with Katie’s family and cherish our memories of her.”
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.