A 22 year-old star soccer player who was found dead in her dorm room on Tuesday had complained about knee pain just days before after grueling surgery.
In a video explaining a typical Friday in the life of a Stanford soccer goalie, Katie Meyer said she took practice easy that morning ‘because my knee is very swollen.’
She had previously posted on February 1 that she was undergoing surgery on her right knee, sharing videos of her scrolling through TikTok beforehand and telling her thousands of followers that when she came out of surgery the nurses were laughing and said she ‘was the most fun patient coming off of anesthesia ever.’
‘Apparently I was pissed that my anesthesiologist left because I wanted to tell him he was the man #funtimes,’ she captioned the video.
The tragic young sportswoman was found dead in her dorm at Stanford on Tuesday, with no cause of death shared by her grieving family.
Katie Meyer, 22, had shared pictures of her with crutches last month after she underwent knee surgery. She was found dead in her dorm room on Tuesday morning
Things seemed to be going well after the surgery, with Meyer posting a video of her plans on Friday. But in it, she mentioned that her knee was still swollen
Meyer, a senior majoring in international relations and minoring in history at the school, also posted photos to of her in crutches following the surgery, as she went to get a coffee and played with Star Wars Legos.
‘For context, I finally got a quick surgery to address pain I’ve been having for about a year,’ she tweeted. ‘I have a short, short (8 to 10 week) recovery till I’m fully back, but it is so worth feeling 100%’
‘Health is wealth, and I’m in great spirits and excited to be caring for my body.’
Things seemed to be going well after that, as she shared photos from practices and spoke about how she was getting coffee with friends on Friday before going to a sorority dinner.
But on Tuesday morning, Meyer was found dead in her dorm room.
A cause of death has not yet been released, but police said there was no threat to anyone else on campus and they are not treating Meyer’s death as suspicious.
She had shared photos of herself with her father Steve in the days leading up to her death, with their closeness evident in the moving shots.
In TikTok videos, Meyer shared her experience before and after the surgery
Stanford officials confirmed her death in a statement on Wednesday, writing: ‘We will grieve this loss together, and will be here for each other.’
Meyer, of Newbury Park, California, earned national fame in 2019 after she made two critical saves to help the Cardinals win its third NCAA championship.
Her reaction to making the second save – where she looked directly into ESPN’s camera and pantomimed locking her mouth shut and throwing away the key went viral with 5,900 likes.
She retweeted the video at the time, hitting back at those who left her mean comments, writing that there were ‘some tough replies under this one.
‘But if you told my 9-year-old gk self that ESPNFC would show a save she made? I think she’d find a way to get over a few mean comments.
‘Also the comments aren’t even that creative,’ Meyer added.
Meyer was a goalkeeper for the Stanford women’s soccer team who majored in international relations and minored in history
She had played the sport she loved throughout her childhood, and had recently shared this photo of her and her father at one of her games when she was young
Meyer’s cause of death has not been released. She is pictured during warmups in 2019
Meyer grew up playing the sport she loved, participating in club soccer as a child. She was even considered as an alternate for the U17 World Cup in 2016.
Over the course of her four years at Stanford, Meyer had twice been the women’s soccer team captain and had twice made it to the Pacific-12 Conference’s honor roll, according to Mercury News.
In total, Meyer played in 50 games across three seasons, producing 20 shutouts and winning 34 matches while only allowing 35 goals.
Her goaltending was one of the main reasons Stanford was able to clench the national championship in 2019, when the team went undefeated with 16 starts and 11 shutouts.
She won an immense amount of awards, including ‘the 2018-2019 PAC12 Championship, the NCAA National Championship in 2019, two College Cup appearances, 2019 College Cup All-Tournament Team, 2019 United Coaches West Region Third Team, 2019, 2020-2021 two-time PAC12 fall academic honor roll and 2021 CoSIDA academic All-District 8,’ among others.
Katie also participated in national teams in Italy and the Netherlands, as well as camps across the world, according to a GoFundMe set up to pay for her funeral expenses.
‘To read this long list of extraordinary accomplishments cannot even begin to describe the amazing daughter, sister, friend and teammate that Katie was,’ it reads.
‘To know Katie was to love Katie. She was larger than life, an incredibly bright shining light on and off the soccer field and for our community. She was a leader in everything she pursued.’
As of Thursday morning, the GoFundMe had raised nearly $60,000 for the cause.
Meyer was the captain of the Stanford twice (pictured in December)
She won an immense amount of awards, including ‘the 2018-2019 PAC12 Championship, the NCAA National Championship in 2019, two College Cup appearances, 2019 College Cup All-Tournament Team, 2019 United Coaches West Region Third Team, 2019, 2020-2021 two-time PAC12 fall academic honor roll and 2021 CoSIDA academic All-District 8,’ among others
Stanford shared this letter on the college’s website paying tribute to Meyer
Meyer was also a resident assistant at Crothers Hall (pictured) where she was found dead
In addition to her work on the field, Meyer was a resident assistant at Crothers Hall, where students reported seeing ambulances and police vehicles at around 11am Tuesday morning.
Residents of the building also reported seeing police officers inside, and multiple sheriff cars and officers remained stationed outside the building through early afternoon, according to the Stanford Daily.
The school has now set up on-site counseling staff at Crothers Hall, where Meyer worked as a resident assistant, and athletics counseling staff have been working with the school’s student athletes.
It also held a candlelight vigil for Meyer Wednesday night, when thousands of students gathered silently at Maloney Field, the school’s soccer field, to pay tribute to her.
Athletes sat silently, comforting each other, FOX 29 reports, and those on other teams left little notes of empathy to Meyer’s teammates.
Friends describe Meyer as a ‘larger-than-life team player in all her pursuits,’ Stanford announced, ‘from choosing a major she said “changed my perspective on the world and the very important challenges that we need to work together to overcome” to the passion she brought to the Cardinal women’s soccer program and to women’s sports in general.’
She had recently started her own weekly talk show, Be the Mentality, in which she had planned to hold conversations with a variety of people.
The first and only episode aired on February 13 and was entitled ‘Girl Dad,’ featuring a conversation with her father, Steven.
To promote the episode, Meyer posted photos and videos of her and her father to her social media pages, including one of her as a child holding a soccer ball as her father grabbed her.
Meyer had planned on creating Be the Mentality for years, she said, keeping it under wraps until she officially announced its formation on February 9.
‘NO MORE SECRETS!’ she wrote. ‘I’ve been sitting with this account for over two years waiting for the right time to start doing what I wanted: sharing some of the most meaningful people, conversations, and challenges with anyone who will listen.
‘THE TALKSHOW IS HAPPENING,’ she exclaimed.
Meyer had recently started a talk show featuring conversations with different people. The first episode aired on February 13 and featured a conversation with her father, Steven. To promote the show, she posted old photos of her with her father, like this one from a Hannah Montana concert
Katie Meyer’s sister Sam Perez (pictured together) posted on her Instagram Stories honoring her sister. ‘There are no words,’ Perez wrote on Instagram. ‘Thank you for all the kindness extended to my family. I’m not ready to post anything big yet. We are broken-hearted and love Kat so much’
Perez posted a tribute to her sister on her Instagram Stories (pictured)
She said they were honored by the ‘outpouring of support’ and directed others to help fund Meyer’s memorial service through GoFundMe
Following the announcement of her death, Meyer’s sister Sam Perez posted on her Instagram Stories honoring her sister.
‘There are no words,’ Perez wrote on Instagram. ‘Thank you for all the kindness extended to my family. I’m not ready to post anything big yet. We are broken-hearted and love Kat so much.’
Zoe Hasenauer, who plays soccer for Oregon State and used to play in the Real SoCal soccer club with Meyer, also wrote ‘You were always such a bright light in this world,’ along with a picture of the two of them, according to the Ventura County Star.
And Former Washington state goalkeeper Courtney Worstell, who played against Meyer on the club, high school and collegiate levels, also wrote: ‘You’ll forever be one of the best to do it.
‘I still can’t wrap my head around it, and I don’t want to believe it.’
Tributes started pouring in for Meyer following the news of her death on Wednesday
Some major sports organizations also paid tribute to Meyer, with the NCAA posting on Twitter: ‘We join Stanford in mourning the loss of Katie Meyer.
‘Our condolences to her family, friends and teammates.’
The US Soccer Federation also wrote: ‘The thoughts and hearts of the entire U.S. Soccer Federation are with the family, friends, teammates and loved ones of Katie Meyer.’
And members of the Orlando Pride also had Meyer’s initials written on their wrist tape, with the team standing together with rivals the Kansas City Current before a game on Wednesday.
Meyer is survived by her parents, Steven and Gina, and her two sisters, Samantha and Siena.