Gone too soon Legacy of Fallen Stanford hero Katie Meyer: A Tribute to My favorite Goalkeeper

Eliot Ben-Ner
The Football Hub
Published in
20 min readMar 6, 2022


On Tuesday Morning, we lost An incredible Collegiate goalkeeper, Stanford hero, and eventual captain. She was a truly astonishing player that, unfortunately, and tragically, we will never see what she could have become. On Tuesday, Katie Meyer was found dead on her campus residence before hitting the Press Wednesday afternoon. There was little information about what occurred until this morning when it had been officially confirmed that Katie Meyer died of self-infliction as a rising star that was just 22 years old committed suicide in what has turned out to be a dark turn of events. According to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner, there is no indication of Foul Play. Stanford Mourns the loss of an incredibly bright young woman a national champion and a difference-maker a player that could of had the world at her feet.

Women’s college soccer has been ever-evolving, turning into an incredible product. We live for the big moments on the big stages in the beautiful game with everything on the line. The opportunity to make history or deny it the emotion and passion attached to those moments is what makes our game so beautiful. If I were to explain or use a moment to capture the essence of women’s soccer in its entity, I think of one particular game. 2019 national championship between North Carolina and Stanford at PayPal arena in San Diego. North Carolina is the superpower with 20 national championships, having produced Mia Hamm and so many others; regardless of the season or the year, they are always the favorites and always expect to win everything. Stanford with two national championships of their own with a good reputation and a very formidable program. However, they’re not North Carolina and aren’t expected to lift the trophy an underdog mentality defying the odds and trying to do something spectacular. The North Carolina Tar Heels and Stanford Cardinals littered with stars a fair few went on to play professionally in the United States, but the big stars from both Stanford and North Carolina are now playing in Europe. These teams are loaded with stars and international players. This made it one of the best national championship games of all time. However, a redshirt freshman rose from the crowd and became a hero and a legend for the University of Stanford. A goalless draw after 120 Minutes heading towards the dreaded penalty shootout. The Stanford goalkeeper saved not one but two penalties. Tori Hanson, a freshman Defender that turned out to be quite a player the years following, was tricked by the Stanford goalkeeper as Stanford’s number 19 made the save has Stanford conquer the national championship; she showed her passion and mentality and an incredible moment as she explodes you can see it on her face the intense look of a champion as well as making the motion zipping my mouth shut as they beat North Carolina to become a national champion. The goalkeeper that managed to come up in the biggest moments was someone that looked like she had a bright future ahead, and I don’t mean in America I mean in Europe. Number 19 was Katie Meyer.

She had incredible potential to become of the world’s best on and off the pitch; she majored in international relations and minored in history residence assistance. This is a very delicate and emotionally charged situation. I’m not going to pretend that I knew Katie in any aspect, but she’s a player that I was drawn to. I’ve been watching for a long time. I didn’t know her, but I knew her game that she showed the qualities and characteristics in goal of a true leader. My thoughts are with her Circle and her family, and I hope they don’t mind that I’m writing this article. This is obviously an unfortunate situation; unfortunately, something I can relate to this is an absolute tragedy, but I don’t think it would do her justice if we just glossed over all in incredible things that she did on the football pitch. There are a lot of people that probably knew her quite well. I am not included in that, but I think we all feel the hurt in some way or another. Anyone who has followed her career in women’s soccer as a whole or even others in the football community will undoubtedly be feeling some hurt from the news. Sometimes as writers and journalists, we face difficult challenges in writing about subjects and events that may not come from an optimistic nature, but I feel like we still have a duty to talk about these things, primarily if we’re invested in them. Katie had an incredible Stanford career, and I’m not going to ignore it. I never got the privilege to cover her or work with her the ways I have with others, but I think she deserves her Legacy to be told for those who never got to see her play.

Katie Meyer came into Stanford, a very high-profile player, a HomeTown Talent from Burbank, California. It was almost a sense as if she was meant to put on those gloves on. For someone, Stanford was just happened to be the ones. I don’t know her personally, but it just was some sort of feeling that it was meant to be that this was supposed to happen. She Played three years of High School soccer at Newbury Park High School / Century Academy. In her time there, she earned incredible recognition. Being named Top Drawer Soccer player to watch and player of the year in 2017/18. I’m not completely sure What that particular award means and represents; however when you are being recognized and signaled out for your individual brilliance, it’s clear you got something special, and Katie had that something. Katie Meyer was very versatile not only because of the magic she pulled off on the pitch but in addition to being a rising star in California. This is difficult enough as it is given a hotbed of young talent in this region, but as it turns out she was, a kicker for the football team. When researching her background, I found that very intriguing. American football is almost completely male, especially at the high school level, so for someone like Katie to be a part of a team like that, being probably the only woman is very telling. I think it’s great and amazing, and more girls who can kick it should have opportunities like that, but you kind of just get the vibe that she was a born leader capable of dealing with different sorts of environments. There certainly must have been a process to adapting to something like that, but it doesn’t really surprise me, especially when you see her play. She was almost as gifted as she was on the pitch on an academic level. Brilliant young women in high school. She graduated second in her class which is astounding. I have a sibling that has been a straight-A student her entire academic career, but even she wasn’t second in her class. So just reading that, I think it’s simply amazing how she was able to balance education and Athletics; not everyone can do it, and there are a lot of athletes out there that struggle with that. Katie Meyer wasn’t just anyone; she was different. Someone to operate it on a high level and was getting respect and credit from California and beyond that. She gained national team experience. An alternate for the Under-17 World Cup in 2016, participated in domestic camps for Under 16 Under-17 and under-18 national teams. Under-16 girls national team in Italy and the Netherlands in 2015, US soccer Striker goalkeeper camp in California in December 2016 US national team’s First International women’s Tournament in 2016 so as you can see plenty of national team experience you never know she could have become maybe the number one for the US Women’s National Team if things turned out differently. During her freshman season at Stanford, she has redshirted something that can’t be too surprised at the time they had won Two National Championships; the team was loaded and just didn’t have space for her to play significant minutes at least at that time I’m sure it was learning experience. Given that I have never worked with her, I can’t say for sure what her feelings and emotions may have been through each of these situations, but I can imagine what her vibe could have been. I have seen her play quite a bit, so I could visualize it. When she finally got her opportunity, she relished it. You could see it early that she had that winning mentality within her. That winning attitude that all the greats have, the question was, does she have the ability and the football intelligence? That was answered incredibly quickly. She had an absolutely absurd debut season with Stanford; it’s hard to imagine a more perfect debut in college soccer flawless. She made 16 appearances in 2019 with a mind-boggling 0.26 goals-against average and a 0.818 percentage; the kid only let in four goals all season! It was unreal that’s some Gigi Buffon level. If I’m being honest, there are some similarities between them certainly. I’m not comparing, but she had some distinctive quality similarities, not to say she would become the greatest goalkeeper ever to do it, but she had the qualities. Katie Earned a debut win against #11 West Virginia in what turned out to be a 2–1 victory and got her first career shut out against San Jose State. On an individual level, she was operating unconventionally great level for a player in their first college season. As a collective, Stanford was definitely in that conversation for potential national champion contenders. 15 wins and one tie accumulating 46 points absolutely out of the world. They were Pac-12 champions she was named College Cup all-tournament team; United coaches all-west Region 13, Pac-12 fall academic honor roll even at the college level at a school like Stanford that’s almost impossible she was balancing greatness both on the pitch and in the classroom. When you see players have the ability to do that, it shows an awful lot about their character, and in most cases, a leader will come from that she was battle-tested. They were the number one team in the nation, earning a number 1 seed for the NCAA tournament. Against Prairie View & M they went on a rampage with a 15–0 victory. I’ve never been a fan of running up the score, but I think it shows the dominance. They took out Hofstra in the second round with a 4–0 victory. Took down Penn State 2–0, then BYU 5–1, taking them into the Final Four. All California semi-final Stanford took on UCLA. An agitated atmosphere with its controversy. Despite the ridiculous season that she had in the net, they still questioned her ability. Including UCLA, who did end up scoring in the 6th minute before Stanford started to build their lead. Stanford eventually got off to a 3–1 lead after that. UCLA star Mia Fishel kept running her mouth throughout the game, telling her team essentially that Katie Meyer was the weak link of the Stanford team. They would face head-on Mia vs. Katie on a penalty. It was a well-taken penalty by Mia, but Katie read it like a book with an incredible save tracking the ball extremely well.

This moment is where my respect for Katie Meyer went up a level. After she saved her penalty, she got in her face and started chirping back; after all the talking she was doing, Katie shut her up, and Katie wanted her to know that. There was some criticism following a rumor that Katie swore at UCLA, but I really don’t care; that’s what football is about, even if she did. Going head-to-head with a rival mano-a-mano and coming out on top, you have every right to get in their face and let them know. It was a crucial part of the game as well MENTALITY MONSTER. Stanford ended up winning 4–1 to reach the national championship. They ended up against superpower North Carolina with two Future Premier League players on their roster. I cannot stress enough how incredible Katie Meyer was in this game; she read every situation so well handled herself in every aspect of it. She played as well as anyone possibly could have, almost like she was Yashin reincarnated. It was going to head to the dreaded penalty shootout, but Katie Meyer showed herself to be the ultimate competitor leader a player. Never shied away; no moment was too big, no pressure bring it on. Katie Meyer’s energy from the UCLA penalty save only gave her more confidence as she denied Taylor Otto. Katrina Macario, current Lyon player, scored, Rachel Jones, scored for North Carolina, Sophia Smith scored Claudia Dickey scored Naomi Girma scored, Alessia Russo, scored. However, Carly Malatskey was denied for Stanford as things were about to heat up in a final couple of kicks. Arsenal player Lotte Webben-Moy converted for North Carolina, and then Kennedy Wesley scored. Kiara Pickett scored, leaving it up to redshirt freshman Katie Meyer to settle it from in goal. She was going to face Tori Hanson with an opportunity to win the national championship. Honestly, it wasn’t the best penalty, but Katie tricked her and could have been the reason for the poor penalty. Katie Meyer makes the save for winning the championship. The passion, love, and emotion of a winner she steps up embraces with an incredibly passionate celebration with what looks like they shut your mouth and throw out the key signal at the end following the penalty save. She could not have had a better season than she did. I think the games against UCLA and North Carolina are the most signature moments at Stamford. There are countless other moments of brilliance from her other seasons, no doubt, but those two games, in particular, are the ones that stick out of my mind. Simply breathtaking freshman season individually and collectively, it would be hard to have played much better; she was growing into an exceptional talent and a Young woman developing a mentality and attitude of a player beyond her years.

In her sophomore season, Stanford never got off to the right start and failed to make the tournament she made 49 saves and conceded 14 goals but yet had a very impressive save rate of 0.778; Stanford only tasted victory on six occasions that season. However, if I’m being completely honest, I think Katie was just Katie, and she was unbelievable, but the team wasn’t as strong as the year before. I didn’t see a real difference in quality between the two years the team wasn’t stepping up to win at the same rate. Katie still did her thing, but that’s just me. Stanford was much improved the next season with 13 wins and six losses, earning a spot in the NCAA tournament. Katie was even better with a 0.91 goal against average but nothing compared to her freshman season. Unfortunately, Stanford goes out in the first round to Santa Clara, a team that made the semi-final, but over these three years, she has been considered one of the best goalkeepers, certainly in the Pac-12, one of one of the best in the nation. Katie Meyer was, without a doubt, one of the most entertaining goalkeepers I’ve ever seen in college soccer one of my favorite goalkeepers in the world. With her attitude, the winning mentality, and the capability to embrace being a villain, she knew how to handle it and was a winner; she knew what it took an entertaining goalkeeper who performed on such a high level every time I saw her. Even though she’s gone way too soon, I think it’s important to recognize and appreciate the things she has done; just her Freshman year alone was historic by itself; she is an icon and a legend; she’s GOATED in my book. It’s heartbreaking what has happened, but in light of these events, I think it’s still crucial for us to appreciate everything she is done on and off the pitch for the University of Stanford soccer program; in my opinion, the number 19 should never be worn by anyone else ever again. In addition to this, I think she deserves a statue or a section of the stadium named after her in her honor. Not purely because of the heartbreaking events but also because she owns one of the most historic moments in college soccer history; she deserves to be remembered not only for the tragedy that took her but for the warrior she was in goal for the Stanford Cardinals. The two-time Pac-12 champion, a national champion, an academic honor roll, not to mention a team captain, she is one of the few that was elected to wear the armband on her shirt; it’s an incredible honor; she exemplified what it means to be a student-athlete; she was a leader and a winner it’s important to remember everything, not just the nature of her death but all the amazing things she was able to do in her short 22 years there will be other Goalkeepers. Still, no one will ever fill her gloves; she will be immortalized, she will live on forever she will never be forgotten.

Even though I didn’t know her personally, I felt like I did. It is very difficult to write about what she could have been, but it still has its importance on her Legacy even if we won’t get to see a conclusion. I’ve been covering the sport for the majority of my twenties I know a player when I see one. I’ve collaborated with two high school girl soccer players who have done some great things with South Dakota state. I am very glued in and involved, and two years ago, I started covering Roma’s women’s team, which has been such a joy and a privilege, so given my involvement in the sport and how much I care about Women’s football, I want to be truthfully honest about what I think she could have become. Katie Meyer was gifted but may not have been a generational Talent; she didn’t have physical gifts, nor did it appears he had the god-given ability. Even though there’s no doubt that she’s talented, she had to work extremely hard to reach the heights she ended up reaching. To balance being an incredible student and an absolute difference-maker for the University of Stanford, I find that truly remarkable. She seemed to have a sense of dedication within her. She worked hard on both and off the pitch. She could have gone even further with her career had her life continued. If anyone from Katie’s Inner Circle is reading this, I apologize in advance, and I hope it’s ok that I am saying this, but I think it needs to be said. Katie Meyer symbolized WINNING MENTALITY. What it looks like; What it feels like; What it sounds like, she captures the very essence of it. She was built for the big moments in the games against North Carolina and UCLA; those moments are who she was on the pitch. Those moments in the circumstance of those moments where at the highest possible level the national championship and the Final Four the goalkeeping display from those games were insanities. She may not have been as incredible during her sophomore and junior seasons, but she had a knack for the big moments; very few goalkeepers Embrace those challenges the way she did. She was born to thrive in those environments, which is an incredibly rare attribute that we don’t see from very many players; even if you look at the best goalkeepers around, not everyone Embraces those challenges and environments the way Katie did it was something rare, especially in college soccer. There are no doubt these incredible goalkeepers in the NCAA, but it’s very uncommon to see a type of player even as good as these players who love the chaos of massive moments. Katie read the game extremely well; she had all the attributes needed for a goalkeeper and a sustainable one at that. There could have been significant longevity regarding where her career could have taken her. Katie Meyer would have played for the national team at some level; I am convinced of it; she would have played for her country. She would have played in Europe; she would have had an opportunity to do so at least. The professional league for the United States isn’t good enough, especially in comparison to the rest of the world; with respect to that League, she was too good to play in America. This is a European player it’s one of those things will you know it when you see it and even though I can’t probably perfectly describe what it is, you just now and she had everything needed to be a goalkeeper for a Champions League team in England Italy Germany Spain any of them she could have found a home with some team in any of those leagues. When I watched the National Championship in 2019, I seriously thought about her being the Roma ladies’ number one goalkeeper. This was before they signed Camelia Caesar, but during that National Championship, I genuinely believe she would have been a perfect goalkeeper for Roma. I thought she was exactly what we needed; I wanted her at Roma. Even if it wasn’t with my club, I knew a team somewhere in Europe could have used her, and I think she would have been very serviceable for a very long time. I genuinely believed that she could become one of the best goalkeepers in the world. I’m not saying this because of the circumstances; I am saying this because what I saw against UCLA and North Carolina was so incredibly rare; some of the genuine qualities that she possessed were incredibly uncommon, and I do believe she would have been such a high-level goalkeeper in Europe. However, the thing that I like the most about her career wasn’t her ability; it was her mentality and personality. While I don’t know her, not even a little, she came across in such an infectious way. She showed passion and love for the game through every save the penalty celebration the getting into the opponent’s face. I’ve loved this attribute in all players, but especially in a captain and a goalkeeper; it’s just there are no words to describe it’s just perfect; it’s everything I would ever want in a goalkeeper, and she had all of that. She embraced the challenge in chaos, and there’s no more attractive attribute to having a goalkeeper than her mentality or winning attitude. Her personality made her breath of fresh air in college soccer, someone who took the game so seriously and made a name for herself as a winner who has the mental strength to deal with anything. She would have had a long career in Europe if things had gone differently. I would have loved to be a teammate of hers; she is someone I would run through a wall for her. It saddens me that we will never get to see what she should have become. I am getting truly emotional even writing this, and I never met her; that should give everyone an understanding of how infectious she was to everyone around her. I would have loved an opportunity to cross paths with her and Interview her when she got to the next level. I may not have known her personally, but she was my favorite player; the thing is, you didn’t need to know her. I didn’t know her but watching her play makes me feel like I did.

On the Today show Friday, Gina Meyer said her daughter “had been getting letters for a couple months” regarding the potential disciplinary action, and that the most recent correspondence “was kind of the final letter that there was going to be a trial or some kind of something.”

“This is the only thing that we can come up with that triggered something,” she said, musing further, “There is anxiety and there is stress to be perfect, to be the best, to be №1.”
Katie’s mom Gina Meyer confirmed her daughter “died by suicide,” adding, “The last couple days are like a parent’s worst nightmare and you don’t wake up from it. So it’s just horrific.”
Gina said she and Steven are “heartbroken” over the loss of Katie, and “struggling to know what happened, and why it happened.”

The circumstances of Katie Meyer’s death are truly heartbreaking and a real tragedy, especially for her family, her friends, former teammates, and former opponents, but beyond that, those of us who have watched her play. She was as a captain and a goalkeeper; this is an incredibly difficult time for her family, but it’s also highly emotional for those that admired her game and her performances from a distance. I was a massive fan; I saw many aspects of what she did in myself. I loved her attitude and confidence in what she was as a goalkeeper and human being. I think the football world Mourns over this loss; her Legacy will continue and move on and go forward even if she’s not here with us anymore. She will inspire the future generation; no one will ever forget her. A self-inflicted death is such a difficult thing to have to deal with emotionally. Mental Health has been a serious topic over the last couple of years but still doesn’t get the respect this conversation deserves; it’s such a severe issue with so many of us, including myself. There are so many people with anxiety and mental health issues that they don’t feel like they have someone to talk to. That they feel like ending it will keep them at peace and that it will remove the pain. I’m not going to pretend that I knew her, but all I can say is this I wish she had someone to talk to; she’s 22 years old, that’s it. That’s such a short life for someone who had so much to give the world. Unfortunately, suicide is not something I’m unfamiliar with. Perhaps this is another reason this particular loss has hit me so hard. I had a cousin that killed himself at 18 years old, and I had a friend that killed herself at 23 years old it’s challenging seeing someone I admired from a distance go that way. There must have been a lot of pressure to be Katie Meyer, Stanford’s hero. I can’t imagine what that must have been like and everything that came with it. The pressure of being this great goalkeeper could thrive at the next level. The stress of having to handle academics and Athletics at the same time pressure of other things that maybe have gone on their lives, but I think this is an opportunity now for us to open that conversation talking about Mental Health; it should be something we all do. Those things that are eating away at us and making us not want to live anymore should be talked about more openly so maybe we can save the lives of others going forward. I sometimes think about how much football means to me. I would still have everything if you took everything away but left me with football. If you take the football out of Katie, maybe she felt like she had nothing. It’s heartbreaking even to put yourself in that space. I don’t know what led to this, but I just wish something could have spared her. I want to express my deepest condolences to Katie Meyer’s family friends and anyone that knew her on a deeper level. I was truly saddened and heartbroken by these events just because of how much I loved watching her play. Stanford will eventually replace Katie Meyer, but her legacy will live on forever; she has given the ones that come next a roadmap to follow; it will be hard even to watch next season; she was my favorite player I wish I would have got a chance to know her. I don’t know if there is an afterlife, but they just gained a world-class keeper; hopefully, she is up there making saves as Cryuff, Puskas, Geroge Best shoot at her. She was a special one; this was the most brutal article I’ve ever written. “Just because you make people happy doesn’t mean that your happy yourself. Depression can be hiding in view but it might not be known.” Rest easy beautiful angel.

“Katie was extraordinarily committed to everything and everyone in her world,” vice provost for student affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole

“Katie was a bright shining light for so many on the field and in our community.” Athletics director Bernard Muir

“I am heartbroken. I had the honor to play alongside Katie for a season and she inspired not only me but everyone else around her,” — Olympic medalist and former teammate Lauren Sesselmann

If you are feeling dark thoughts please call for help: 1800–273–8255

Gofundme: Fundraiser for Steve Meyer by Andrea Scoralle : Katie Meyer Memorial Fund (gofundme.com)