NWSL, US Soccer and NCAA teams show love for Katie Meyer

March 2, 2022, 11:07 p.m.

The loss of Stanford student and soccer goalkeeper Katie Meyer ’22 tore through Stanford and the athletics community today. An outpouring of love has flooded social media as teams, leagues and organizations across the country mourn Meyer’s loss and send their condolences to her friends, family, teammates and classmates.

The Stanford Women’s soccer program took to social media first this morning, writing, “We love you, Katie,” and posting a picture of Meyer smiling on the field.

The Pac-12 Conference quote tweeted Stanford Athletics, writing, “Katie will be greatly missed and will remain in our hearts.” The NCAA similarly quoted, writing, “We join Stanford in mourning the loss of Katie Meyer. Our condolences to her family, friends and teammates.”

Meyer had announced at the end of the season that she would return to the field next fall and was continuing to train with the team.

NCAA soccer teams and coaches from all over the country also poured out love, including former associate head coach for Stanford and current head coach for Utah women’s soccer, Hideki Nakada.

The former coach wrote, “No words can adequately describe the sadness and emptiness I feel about the passing of Katie Meyer. Katie was one of the most passionate and fierce competitors I’ve ever known … The world without Katie is hard to comprehend. Our lives are significantly better with her in it. I am eternally grateful for everything Katie gave us. We love you, Katie.” Nakada, a former goalkeeper himself, was with Stanford until the spring of 2021.

The loss of Meyer was felt across the NCAA as teams including Tennessee, Cal, FSU, Virginia and countless more mourned the death of an incredible friend, leader and player.

Meyer was also a member of the youth national teams and projected to have a shot at the senior U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) in her future. U.S. Soccer wrote, “The thoughts and hearts of the entire U.S. Soccer Federation are with the family, friends, teammates and loved ones of Katie Meyer.” Former USWNT member, Stanford player and ESPN reporter Julie Foudy ’92 tweeted, “Hug someone close to you. Tell them how much you love them.”

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and NWSL Players Association each sent their condolences soon after Stanford’s announcement.

The Orlando Pride and Kansas City Current of the NWSL demonstrated their love for Meyer before their preseason game Wednesday night. Before the game, players from both teams huddled together, arms locked and heads bowed as they took a moment to honor Meyer. The two teams also wore “KM” taped wristbands throughout the game.

The demonstration was a reminder of how close-knit nature of the women’s soccer community. Players throughout the NWSL, including Alex Morgan and Rachel Daly, expressed their love and prayers for those hurting. Many more advocated for more mental health resources across the sport for athletes and fans alike.

Fans within the sport continue to send their support to Meyer’s teammates, friends, coaches and family as they mourn. It is with great sadness that the women’s soccer community acknowledges the loss of one of their own.

Support is available for students through Stanford’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) 24/7 at (650) 723-3785. The Graduate Life Office (GLO) is available 24/7 via the Stanford operator at (650) 723-7288, pager 25085 and during office hours at (650) 736-7078. The Bridge Peer Counseling Center offers counseling by trained students 24/7 at (650) 723-3392. The Faculty Staff Help Center, located in Kingscote Gardens, offers confidential help for Stanford faculty and staff.

Jenna Ruzekowicz is a staff writer in the sports section. She is a sophomore from Syracuse, New York majoring in Computer Science. Her teams include: Portland Thorns, Arsenal and Man City. Contact her at jruzekowicz 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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