Eagle Annie Roshak cements AU women’s basketball legacy

Roshak is set to enter her fifth-year in the 2023-24 season


Brynn Meisse

Roshak drives to the hoop in the 2022-23 national championship.

Cade Cracas, Sports & Digital Editor

Throughout the last four seasons, the Eagles have found a consistent rhythm of excellence. Involved in that excellence, has been duel threat leader, forward Annie Roshak.

When the Eagles won the 2022-23 national championship, she contributed a team-high 20 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. Alongside the statline she put together, her leadership on the court was a propeller to the team’s victory.

“I really love to win, I am not going to lie. [I’ll be] Doing whatever the team needs, but I know that in crunch time I am going to do whatever it takes to win,” she said. “I love being the fire and being able to help when I can.”

Her in-game fire has been put on display since she joined the team in the 2019-20 season, the year that the Eagles season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through 31 games that season off the bench, she contributed 10.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game to go alongside a team-high 59% from the field. From beyond the arc, she shot 46%.

After having her season cut short, she would move into the 2020-21 season with a newfound drive.

“Having the 2020 season cut short was super sad. Being undefeated and just sent home definitely left a little unfinished feel to it,” she said. “It took a little bit of time to process all that happened that season and I think what it would have been like to finish that off also took some time to get past.”

She was able to get past the lost season and dominate the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). To finish the year she was awarded first-team All-GLIAC, All-Midwest Regional Tournament Team and All-GLIAC Tournament Team honors. Those honors came as a direct result of her impressive 21 points and 6 rebounds per game. Against Parkside that year, she recorded a career-high 40-point game to go alongside a program-tieing record of 17 field goals in a contest.

During that time, she played with Erin Daniels, who has now become her coach as a graduate assistant.

“Annie was/is a great teammate and someone I knew I could rely on,” said Daniels. “She is a relentless competitor and someone you want to have on your team! I loved having her as my teammate, but I love even more being able to coach her.”

Through just two seasons, Roshak had already put her name on paper as a program-shifting player.

In her junior year, she had another breakout season being listed as a first-team All-Midwest Region player from the Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association, first-team All-Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) and countless others. She was also a three-time GMAC women’s basketball Athlete of the Week. Those honors came with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.

“Annie has made our team so much better since coming in as a freshman,” Daniels said. “She makes everyone around her better and is someone the team can look up to.”

During that season, Roshak and Daniels helped lead the Eagles to a run in the Midwest Regional Tournament before being knocked out by the Walsh Cavaliers in the semi-final round.

Heading into her senior year, Roshak had yet to make it past the Midwest Region in her time with the Eagles. However, with the additions of Assistant Coach Jenna Kotas and transfers in the offseason, the team would finally have the breakthrough they were looking for.

Throughout the 2022-23 regular season, she would post a consistent 14 points and five rebounds per contest, while leading the Division II women’s basketball sphere in field goal percentage at over 65%.

“What she can do on the court, especially offensively, is a coach’s dream,” said Kotas. “She is a skilled player that wants to get better but also make her teammates better.”

Heading into the conference tournament, the Eagles were riding high off an undefeated regular season and waltzed their way to a GMAC title. However, a knock would come to the offense as starting point guard Morgan Yoder would go down to an injury.

Head Coach of the Eagles, Kari Pickens, utilized the versatility of Roshak and positioned her at the three. That change moved her into a spot more toward the perimeter, where she still found success shooting 60% from beyond the arc through three games.

“She does whatever is necessary to put the team in the best spot to be successful,” said Kotas.

In the Midwest Tournament, Roshak had an undeniable drive to make it out of the region. Through three games she scored 45 points, hauled in 15 rebounds and helped lead the Eagles past three opponents, finally giving her the opportunity to shine in the Elite Eight.

With her first opportunity available, she did just that.

Against UT Tyler, she knocked down 6-of-12 from the field and 9-of-10 from the charity stripe, going for 24 points while hauling in 10 rebounds.

“Annie is a player that everyone gravitates towards because of what she can do on the court,” Kotas said. “Because of her skill and on-court leadership, she is someone her teammates and the coaching staff trusts when the ball is in her hands.”

She would then put together back-to-back season-defining perfomances against Glenville State in the Final Four and Minnesota Duluth in the national championship, combining for 37 points through both wins.

“I think that the flow of our offense gives us really good oppurtunites,” she said while crediting her teammates. “We have guards that do a great job looking for us.”

Annie Roshak was officially a national champion, and the Eagles found their third as a program.

Not only has she been a leader for the team on the floor en route to an undefeated season and a national championship, but also has led them in the locker room.

“Her leadership goes past what she can do on the court. She is a role model, especially to the younger generation. The Ashland community loves, supports, and is thrilled to have a part of this program,” said Kotas. “She embodies our vision, core values, and foundation extremely well.”

Roshak now looks to return for her fifth year, and keep the team’s 37 game win streak alive in the 2023-24 season.

“We are so excited that she is coming back for one more year and looking forward to her growing even more in her leadership role to help continue the success of this program,” Kotas said.