Prep Athlete: Annelise Winch leading Scarlets into state tournament

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 10:06 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2021 at 10:07 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — A four-goal performance with a state title berth on the line is one of the many highlights from Mankato West senior forward Annelise Winch.

“I like to place my focus on intensity, so I come out super strong, and I try to be super aggressive on the defense too,” Winch said. “Just being able to see the full field and look for through balls and making runs, I think that’s the key to my game.”

The striker came through in a big moment for the Scarlets and did so throughout the season, piling up 28 goals so far in 19 games played.

“She’s got some really nice ball moves. She’s got a nice fake that she uses to create space. She knows where the keeper is, where the space is. She knows where to place the ball and with what pace. To have that understanding about where to get yourself into position, to be able to pull it, strike the ball hard and finish, that’s a special quality. She does it very well,” head coach Crissy Makela said.

Winch’s six hat-tricks this season is impressive, but all those big performances are a product of quality play from a team that’s usually winning the possession game and creating opportunities for the striker.

“The services that she was given are amazing. Some of those through balls are delivered in the perfect play, where Icy can collect them and score. Any of the passes that have been delivered to her are from people who worked hard to get the ball and deliver it to her. It’s a total team effort, yeah, Icy’s finishing them, but without everybody else, we’re not getting very far,” Makela added.

All the goals and assists from the senior showing up on the stat sheet don’t quantify the impact she’s leaving on the Scarlets program on a daily basis.

“She’s taken a great leadership role. A really positive voice, even at training yesterday, before I got over to the team, they’re doing warm-up stuff. Her and another captain kind of pulled the girls together and said this is what we have to do,” Makela continued. “They gave this pregame speech to the team, and it was practice. It was super positive and very supportive, like hey we believe in you, we know we can do this. You can’t put a price on that kind of conversation from a senior leader who’s been there and played at a high level.”

Winch is taking her talents to the University of Minnesota Duluth for college, but first, the forward, along with the rest of the Scarlets, is focusing on making a deep run in the Class AA State Tournament with a quarterfinals match-up against Mahtomedi Thursday night in Eden Prairie.

Winch’s leadership and game-changing ability are why the senior is our Scheels Prep Athlete of the Week.

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