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Katie Meyer’s parents open up about her death by suicide

(Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The parents of Stanford goalkeeper Katie Meyer confirmed Friday that the 22-year-old died by suicide on Tuesday in a campus residence. Meyer was a captain on the Stanford women’s soccer team and an NCAA champion.

A Santa Clara County medical examiner ruled Meyer’s death as self-inflicted on Thursday, finding no indication of foul play. A day earlier, the university announced Meyer’s death in a statement but gave no cause.

“The last couple days are like a parent’s worst nightmare and you don’t wake up from it,” Gina Meyer, Katie’s mother, told Stephanie Gosk on TODAY. “So it’s just horrific. I don’t even think it’s hit us yet, we’re still in shock.”

Gina and Steven Meyer said they spoke with Katie on FaceTime just hours before her death and she appeared to be in good spirits. Looking for answers, the couple said they believe Meyer received an email about potential disciplinary action from the university and may have feared the consequences.

“Katie, being Katie, was defending a teammate on campus over an incident and the repercussions of her defending that teammate (were possibly resulting in disciplinary action),” Steven Meyer said on TODAY.

The parents have not seen the email, but said she had been getting letters “for a couple months.”

“This letter was kind of the final letter that there was going to be a trial or some kind of something,” Gina said. “This is the only thing that we can come up with that triggered something.”

In a statement to TODAY, Stanford University said it was not able to share information “about confidential student disciplinary matters.”

“Our entire community is devastated by Katie’s death, and we share our deepest condolences with Katie’s family and everyone who knew her at Stanford, across the country and around the world. Katie touched so many lives,” the statement read. “We as a university community continue to grieve with Katie’s family and cherish our memories of her.”

On Thursday, the Stanford women’s basketball team honored Meyer before its 57-44 win over Oregon State in the Pac-12 tournament. Players ran out onto the court wearing Stanford soccer warm-up shirts and wristbands displaying Meyer’s initials and jersey number. This followed a show of support from Orlando Pride and Kansas City Current players before an NWSL preseason scrimmage on Wednesday night.

“Katie was one of our biggest supporters who loved coming to our games and making her presence felt,” Stanford women’s basketball wrote in a statement. “Thinking about a life without Katie is a life without an unapologetically authentic, bold and bright person who exuded nothing but confidence.

“We are so grateful to have known and loved Katie, to have watched her energy and competitiveness on the field, and to have been recipients of her support.”

The team also organized a vigil for Meyer after not being able to attend the one on Stanford’s campus.