Former Montgomery High School Teammates, Now National Champs
Tera Ziemer and Michaela Rosenbaum were Montgomery High School teammates 5 years ago with Tera in her Senior season and Michaela in her sophomore season. Both of them had finished the 2016-17 season with a record of 21-1, an NCS Championship, 1st in the state and 11th in the nation. In the Fall of 2015, Tera had helped Monty get all the way to the NCS Championship where they lost 2-0 to Maria Carrillo, but that was it for them as they headed to College Station the following Winter. Rosenbaum had been a part of the NCS Championship team for Monty in her freshman season and was ready to try to go capture another championship.
Ziemer on their early career:
"I started playing with the club in Santa Rosa, Santa Rosa United and then, at about 16, I wanted to switch to a higher level with a more competitive team so I started driving to Danville for practice and it was a super great experience and then I played at Montgomery for 3 years and it was really cool, especially the first 2 years because I got to play with my sister and then got to play with a lot of my friends. so that was also a really cool experience but I really enjoyed club soccer. Super competitive and a fun way to spend my youth for sure."
The Vikings lost 4-0 to Davis in their opening game, but then went 17-0-1, crushing every team in league with Carrillo being the only team to come close to win, tying them 2-2. With the 1 seed in the NCS Playoffs and fresh off another NBL Championship, they beat Richmond 10-0 in the first round, beat Newark Memorial 4-0, but fell in the semifinals to Livermore 1-0 in a crushing defeat. Ziemer had graduated and had headed to Texas A&M that Winter while Rosenbaum looked for revenge. In 2018, the Vikings captured another NBL Oak Championship and finished 14-3-3. The Vikings secured the 2 seed and ran the table at NCS capturing another championship with a revenge W against Livermore. They moved onto NorCals and beat Menlo School 4-0 before being knocked out in a shootout against Mountain View in the semifinals.
In Rosenbaum's Senior season, the Vikings finished 2nd in league after losses to Maria Carrillo and Cardinal Newman, but were able to move onto NCS, finishing the regular season at 16-3. Monty knocked out Northgate and Washington, but fell in the semis to Maria Carrillo 4-0. They had a good enough record, 18-4, to move on to NorCal where they faced and beat Bradshaw Christian 5-0 in the first round. They beat Christian Brothers 2-1 to move on to face Cinderella #8 seed Burlingame who had knocked out #1 Mountain View and #5 Acalanes. Monty won NorCals with an easy 3-0 win. Monty finished 21-4 and NorCal Champs which was a proper sendoff to Rosenbaum who headed to play college soccer at one of the best soccer programs in the country, UCLA.
Rosenbaum said this about her time at Monty:
"Fell in love playing soccer in club. I think that club soccer kind of just sets you up; you know playing with your best friends and your teammates, going on fun trips and ECNL events and just tournaments all around. When I got into High School, I was also very nervous to play High School soccer because you're playing with people who are 3 years older than you and so freshman year I was really nervous but I was also really excited to play with the older girls and have a family and I love Coach Pat McDonald. He's someone I look up to and I trust so much and he made my high school experience so much fun and he built a culture that just feels like a family and someone you can lean on for anything. So I think both club and High School were really fun and I've also learned so much and I also have this like family or community."
Ziemer started at Texas A&M in 2018 and started 21 of 23 games and played well earning their spot in the Top Drawer Soccer Midseason Top 100 Freshman. In 2019, their sister Taylor transferred in from Virginia to play with them and Tera had a great season, leading the Aggies to a Tournament appearence and a 1st Round win. After 2019, Ziemer transferred to Western Washington, a Division 2 team. Ziemer had 6 goals and 6 assists in 20 games (19 starts) in their first year with the WWU Vikings; one of the goals being a game winner against #5 Sonoma State, where their mother had played and their father coached men's soccer. Ziemer was a 2nd Team All American at midfield, 1st Team all West region, 1st Team GNAC and GNAC Newcomer of the Year.
In 2022, Ziemer started all 25 out of the 25 games she played in and scored 6 goals and 4 assists. She played well, shooting 26 shots on goals, close to 50% of her shots. The Vikings finished the regular season at 12-2-4 and earned a spot against Simon-Fraser and won 3-0 to move on to face Northwest Nazarene in the championship. The Vikings won their 6th GNAC Title 1-0 in a good game in Nampa. They got a first round bye in the West Regionals and faced Point Loma in the 2nd Round after Point Loma beat Sonoma State. The Vikings knocked off #18 Point Loma 1-0 to move on to the West Regional Final to play Concordia. The winner would face the #9 Colorado School of Mines in the Elite Eight who had beaten Dallas Baptist in the South Central Regional Final 1-0. The Vikings persisted and beat Concordia 1-0 to move onto the Elite Eight. The Vikings handeled the School of Mines, beating them 3-1 with Ziemer scoring a goal for WWU. The Vikings traveled to Seattle Pacific University and Interbay Stadium in Seattle to play in the NCAA D2 Final Four. The Vikings scored an early 2nd half goal and then struck again with a 75th minute goal, but the Cougars responded in the 84th with a goal. It wasn't enough, though, and the Vikings moved on with a win. 1 win away from a National Championship.
The Vikings faced West Chester, the #1 team in the nation and who scored the first goal? Tera Ziemer buried it in the lower left corner with a volley to give the early lead to the Vikings. West Chester responded in the 24th minute when Alyson Cutter hit a header into the top corner. The scoreboard sat at 1-1 until the 82nd minute when Claire Potter scored the game winner that lead the Vikings to a 2-1 win. The Vikings had gone all the way and won the National Championship in their own backyard giving Ziemer her first ring. Ziemer had worked her whole life for this moment, on Mustang Soccer, at Monty, at Texas A&M and now at WWU, winning Championships and racking up honors and now winning a National Championship. A few weeks later, Ziemer received the biggest award of their career, Division II Player of the Year
Ziemer had this to say about winning Player of the Year:
"About a week ago, I got a phone call; I went in for a meeting with my coach and he handed me the phone and it was the United Soccer Coaches Chairperson and having that announced and finding that out was just like a very cool moment, very unexpected and definitely makes me feel really good and proud of myself. But also a great way to end; you can't really ask for a better ending."
While Ziemer was playing at Western Washington, Rosenbaum started at UCLA in 2020 and had been converted to right back from midfielder. She started 14 games, helped UCLA complete 7 shutouts and won PAC 12 Defensive Player of the Week. The Bruins finished 13-1-3, falling in the second round in a penalty shootout to Clemson. In 2021, Rosenbaum played in 17 games and was fourth on the team with 4 assists. The Bruins finished 16-1-3, falling to UC Irvine 1-0 in the 1st Round. In 2022, the Bruins were looking like they could make a run at the National Championship.
The Bruins started off 13-0 with big wins over Duke, North Carolina, Iowa and Santa Clara, but fell to Stanford 1-0 on the Farm to fall to 13-1. The Bruins bounced back with a 6-0 win over Colorado and UCLA won 3 straight after that to go into their rivalry game against USC who were looking pretty dominant at 12-2-3 and were 7-1-2 in conference. USC handled UCLA giving them their 2nd loss on the season, 2-0 to win the rivalry game. The Bruins would face Northern Arizona at home in the 1st Round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Bruins handeled NAU, getting a 4-1 win to move on to the 2nd Round to face UCF. Through 110 minutes, the Bruins were tied with the Knights 1-1 and the game went into PKs where UCLA shutout the Knights 3-0 to move onto the Sweet 16 and play a red hot Northwestern team. The Bruins beat the Wildcats though, 2-0, allowing them to move on to the Elite Eight to face Virginia. The Cavs fought hard against UCLA and after 90 minutes and a late UVA goal, the game was tied 1-1 and headed to OT. 7 minutes into OT, Sofia Cook scored the winning goal to send UCLA to the Final Four at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. UCLA faced Alabama in the Final Four and the Bruins dominated, shutting out Bama, 3-0 to advance to the National Championship against North Carolina.
The game was scoreless at halftime, but UNC came out of the tunnel ready for the 2nd Half with Avery Patterson striking in the 58th minute to give the Tar Heels the lead. Patterson struck again in the 74th to give UNC a 2-0 lead. In the 79th minute, Lexi Wright scored a goal for the Bruins to pull them within 1. With 16 seconds left in the game, UCLA had their last chance to score and Ally Lemos lined up to take a corner kick as the Bruins and Tar Heels crowded into the box. Lemos swung it in tight and Reilyn Turner headed it in, tying the game and sending it to overtime. After the first OT, the game was still 2-2 and it head to a second OT. 6 minutes into the 2nd OT, UCLA set the pace and got a nice attack going where after a saved shot, Maricarmen Reyes rebounded the saved shot and buried it in the lower left corner to capture the National Championship for the Bruins on a massive comeback. Michaela Rosenbaum who had been on the USWNT U14, U16, U18 and U20 camps and even on the USWNT U16 National Team, was now a National Champion in her Junior Year of college. She had worked her whole life at Santa Rosa United, USWNT and Montgomery winning Championships and had joined UCLA because of the coaching staff. It had paid off because she is a National Champ.
Rosenbaum on Winning the National Championship and the tying goal in the closing moments:
"(I was) Freaking out. Last 16 seconds, Last play of the game. Our goalkeeper Lauren comes up to the box, too and right when Reilyn put that goal away, I cried. Everyone on the sidelines were crying, just jumping around, going crazy. A feeling that won't go away anytime soon and every time I think back to that, I always have the biggest smile on my face."