STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford Women’s Soccer remembered 22-year-old soccer star Katie Meyer who died by suicide last year. Meyer was acknowledged just before the start of the game as a part of Mental Health Awareness Month.
Meyer's number was 19, and it seemed fitting that her former team would remember her on Thursday, Oct. 19. October is also Mental Health Awareness Month and the team hoped to spread that message at the game.
As the Stanford Women’s Soccer team prepared to take on Oregon State Thursday night, the Stanford Athletic Department remembered Meyer. An announcement was made over the loudspeaker:
"In March 2022, the Stanford family lost an important teammate and friend. Katie Meyer’s legacy was bigger than soccer, and we’re dedicating tonight’s game to mental health awareness."
The entire team practiced in shirts with the number "19" on the back.
"It’s something we talk to our girls about at a young age. We talk about how they’re feeling, what they’re going through and not to shy away from these things, to really kind of take them on. When tragedies like this do happen, we talk about it," said Michael Paravati, Stanford Women’s Soccer fan and soccer dad.
Meyer was team captain and goalkeeper when she was found dead in a campus residence last year. Former Stanford players were at Thursday’s game to show their support for this year’s team and to remember Meyer.
"They’re kids. Basically, being there for them, trying to connect with each other and show each other support. That’s just really what that awakened for us," said Anna Patitucci, Stanford Women’s Soccer Alumnae, Class of 1995.
A wellness wall was also on display near the entrance for people to write down tips about how they maintain their mental health.
One woman says after hearing Meyer’s story, she tries to keep communication open with her 15-year-old daughter.
"Sometimes she shies away and says nothing, but I tell her you know, I’m here. You can talk to me, whatever it may be. I will try to understand and support you in whatever way I can," said Karina Watt, a soccer mom and Stanford women's soccer fan.
Meyer’s parents also filed a lawsuit against Stanford in 2022, claiming wrongful death. They say she was distraught because she was facing disciplinary action for spilling coffee on another athlete.
KTVU reached out to Stanford University for comment but didn’t hear back from them in time for this report.