Kick it to Win it

Her bright blonde hair and powerful parabolic kicks grace the soccer field in winter, but this year they can be spotted early among hard helmets and leather footballs. Sophomore Katie Meyer — varsity soccer goalkeeper, US national team player, and Stanford soccer team commit — is a football player.

Meyer joined the football team near the end of September as a points-after-touchdown (PAT) kicker after being asked by the coaches to join the team and receiving her parents’ approval despite their initial hesitance.

“Katie was hanging out at the field after practice kicking a soccer ball and a football…” Gary Fabricius, head football coach, said about his first encounter with Meyer. “She drilled the ball, it went right through (the posts). And I thought, wow, that is pretty good.”

“I figured it would be something cool for the school and I wanted to help the team,” Meyer explained as her reason for officially joining the team.

As a soccer goalkeeper, Meyer adjusted quickly to kicking the football because she has experience with soccer goal kicks: large, almost full-court kicks taken after the ball has crossed the goal line to restart play.

Scott Ellis, football kicking coach, supervised Meyer during her adjustment to the new skills. “In practice so far, there has been no different treatment,” he said. “She’s an athlete that can do what we’re doing….She has the right mentality.”

Katie Meyer, sophomore, poses in her football gear. Experienced as a goalie in soccer, Meyer joined the football team this year as a varsity kicker.

Katie Meyer, sophomore, poses in her football gear. Experienced as a goalie in soccer, Meyer joined the football team this year as a varsity kicker. Samantha Meyer/Prowler

Because she is a kicker, Meyer will not normally be involved in the tackling part of the game unless. However, there is one exception. “I’m pretty sure I have to either pick up the ball and run into the touchdown for a two point conversion or I have to make a run and hope someone throws me the ball, but that’s only if (the ball) gets blocked,” Meyer said.

Although Meyer, as a female, is different from the rest of the guys on the team, she has been supported by both her coaches and teammates.

“I think we just embrace the fact that I am a girl and they’re all guys,” Meyer said. “We just get along really well and we have a lot of fun.”

Ellis also attested to the collaborative atmosphere between Meyer and the other players. “The other cool thing is that you can see teammates help her with tips and pointers,” he added.

Since she joined in the middle of the season, Meyer will not be eligible to play until the last few games, but she has had perspective of the game from the sidelines. “I love the energy. I love when we score because everyone’s screaming and cheering,” she said.

“Even if she doesn’t kick this year, she’s only a sophomore and we thought we could get her working for us,” Fabricius added. “She could be our kicker junior and senior year.”

Although it may be football season, Meyer is still, and always, involved in soccer. On Oct. 10, she officially committed to Stanford with an athletic scholarship to play on the soccer team.

“I (hope to) play after college too. Football is probably just going to be a high school thing,” she said.

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