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Stanford Goalkeeper Who Died By Suicide Was Facing ‘Disciplinary Action’ For ‘Defending Teammate’ Before Death

Photo: Twitter | Stanford Women's Soccer
Katie Meyer

The death of the Stanford University's goalkeeper, Katie Meyer, has been officially ruled a suicide after authorities determined her wounds to be self-inflicted with no signs of foul play.

The parents of the late soccer star have recently spoken out since the news of Meyer's death, saying that the 22-year-old had been facing the fear of potential disciplinary action from Stanford that may have contributed to her ending her life.

The parents of Stanford goalkeeper Katie Meyer believe the disciplinary action may have 'triggered' her suicide.

In an interview with 'Today,' Meyer's mother, Gina Meyer, confirmed that her daughter had "died by suicide," saying, "The last couple days are like a parent's worst nightmare and you don't wake up from it. So it's just horrific."

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Katie's father, Steven Meyer, had said that before her death, she'd been "defending a teammate on campus over an incident and the repercussions of her defending that teammate (were possibly resulting in disciplinary action)."

The college soccer star had been found unresponsive in her campus dorm room, and was pronounced dead by Palo Alto firefighters at 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday.

"The County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner is investigating Kathryn Meyer’s death. There is no indication of foul play, and Meyer’s death was determined to be self-inflicted," a statement from Santa Clara County authorities read.

Gina said that Katie, who had been the goalkeeper and captain of the Stanford women's soccer team, was "getting letters for a couple months," regarding the looming possibility of some sort of disciplinary action, and that the most recent notice "was kind of the final letter that there was going to be a trial or some kind of something."

Gina continued, saying, ""This is the only thing that we can come up with that triggered something. There is anxiety and there is stress to be perfect, to be the best, to be No. 1."

Katie Meyer's death is an upsetting reminder of the pressures student athletes face.

It's extremely common for college athletes to deal with hoards of stress than the general college population, causing them to be at higher risk for anxiety and depression. 

According to recent statistics, 95% of male and 85% of female athletes report higher stress compared to 52% of non-athlete students. These student athletes also report having higher stress in romantic relationships, higher responsibilities, decreased sleep, and extracurricular activity demand.

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Suicide is also the third leading cause of death among student athletes, according to the National Collegiate Athleteic Association, which found 35 cases of suicide among a total of 477 deaths.

Katie's parents say they had last spoken to their daughter just hours before her suicide, and hadn't seen anything in her behavior that would've raised any red flags for them.

"She was excited," Gina remembered. "She had a lot on her plate. She had a lot going on. But she was...she was happy. She was in great spirits."

Gina and Steven expressed their heartbreak over the sudden loss of their daughter, and have been "struggling to know what happened, and why it happened."

During the interview, Gina had worn Katie's red sweatshirt, saying through tears, "I know it's going to sound crazy, but every mom is going to understand this, but when you smell it, it smells her, it smells like Katie, just her scent."

"I'm wearing it because it just feel I want to be close to her."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, just know you are not alone and there are people out there who want to help you.

Please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.

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