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PDP Alum Taylor Ziemer Making Her Way in Texas

Note: this is the fifth in a series of articles highlighting former NorCal Premier Soccer Player Development Program players who have made waves at the next level.

Through the start of this young NCAA women’s soccer season, Texas A&M have been making waves in the national rankings, starting their first six games undefeated to reach the No. 12 spot nationally.

A big part of that strong start has been the play of redshirt junior forward Taylor Ziemer, who has already bagged a pair of goals while playing nearly every minute for the Aggies.

This comes after the NorCal native spent the previous year helping ADO Den Haag to a fourth-place finish in the Dutch Eredivisie Vrouwen.

With youth national team appearances, a strong college career, and a dip into the pool of European soccer under her belt, Ziemer’s future appears bright, but it’s her past that got her to this point: specifically her time with Santa Rosa United and NorCal’s PDP.

“The level of PDP was high, which is always awesome because you get to go and play with the best players in Northern California,” said Ziemer. “Also, the practices were really well-run, which is something special about NorCal, having now played in a lot of different parts of the country and played with a lot of people from parts of the country. What we learn in Northern California and the type of soccer we’re exposed to is a lot different and the style of play that PDP plays was special.

“It really taught me a lot at a young age how to play the game.”

The daughter of Sonoma State head coach Marcus Ziemer and longtime Santa Rosa United coach Trisha Ziemer, spent four years in PDP before making the jump to the college game and the youth national teams.

“Taylor checked all the boxes in the areas of player development that we were looking for in PDP,” said PDP Director Paolo Bonomo. “She had all the technical, tactical, and physical aspects and was a great student of the game.”

“Sometimes she was acting more as a coach than a player because she always asked great questions,” Bonomo added. “She grew up in a soccer family — her father, mother, uncles, they all played soccer and talked soccer 24/7.”

In PDP, Ziemer found some similarities between the types of trainings here in Northern California and with the national team.

“It’s really similar drills and similar coaching and they look for similar things: movement, body position. It sets you up to play at the next the level for sure, though, unfortunately not always the next level in college because a lot of times the level of the PDP coaches is higher than a lot of college coaches,” she said. “You practice the little things in PDP: your body position, the weight of the pass, which foot you pass it to, that kind of stuff and you definitely see those same coaching points at the national team level.”

Those trainings led her to Virginia, where the two-time California Gatorade High School Player of the Year tallied 12 goals and eight assists in two years before electing to take a year off to play professionally in the Netherlands.

“It was awesome. The style of play was awesome, it’s a lot different from college soccer because it’s not just about athleticism and you only have three subs in a game so you have to be able to last 90 minutes so the game kind of slows and opens up like a regular soccer game does,” she said. “It was incredible, the players were so smart and so skilled, so much more skilled there than they are here normally. It was a really, really cool experience to be able to play at that level.”

But wanting to finish her education, Ziemer came back to the college game where she’ll finish out her last two years of eligibility for Texas A&M with her younger sister, Tera, before deciding on her future.

“I’m hoping to go to Europe after I graduate,” she said. “Playing there was an awesome experience and living abroad in a different culture and getting to play soccer while doing that is obviously awesome, so that’s what I’m planning on doing.”