Parents of Stanford Soccer Star Katie Meyer Open Up About Her Death: 'Worst Nightmare'

"The last couple days are like a parent's worst nightmare," said Gina Meyer, mother of Stanford soccer player Katie Meyer, who died by suicide

The parents of late Stanford soccer star Katie Meyer are speaking out for the first time since her death, and saying they think her fear of potential disciplinary action from the university may have contributed to her suicide.

Speaking with Today for an interview that aired Friday, 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."

According to Katie's dad Steven, before her death, she "was defending a teammate on campus over an incident and the repercussions of her defending that teammate (were possibly resulting in disciplinary action)."

In a statement to the Today show, Stanford University said, "We are not able to share information about confidential student disciplinary matters. We as a university community continue to grieve with Katie's family and cherish our memories of her."

"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," the statement also read. "Katie touched so many lives."

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Katie, the goalkeeper and captain of the Stanford women's soccer team, was just 22 years old when she was found dead in her dorm room on Tuesday.

Her cause of death was confirmed by the County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner. Read a statement from the County of Santa Clara, California, provided to PEOPLE Thursday, "There is no indication of foul play, and Meyer's death was determined to be self-inflicted."

katie meyer
The Today Show; Inset: Jamie Schwaberow/Getty

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 No. 1."

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Gina said she and Steven are "heartbroken" over the loss of Katie, and "struggling to know what happened, and why it happened."

Of Katie's cardinal red sweatshirt that she wore during the interview, Gina said, through tears, "I know it's going to sound crazy, but every mom is going to understand this, but when you smell it, it smells her, it smells like Katie, just her scent."

"I'm wearing it because it just feel I want to be close to her," she added.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to

The County of Santa Clara offers free and confidential counseling services from highly trained phone counselors 24 hours a day, every day, to anyone in crisis. Residents who may need support, resources or information can call 855-278-4204 or contact the Crisis Text Line: Text RENEW to 741741 (text COMUNIDAD for Spanish) to speak with a counselor. Services are always available in English, Spanish, and other languages.

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