Karynne Baker and her family are no strangers to sports.
Baker, the senior forward from Falls Church, Virginia, has been surrounded by athletes her entire life, and it all starts with her parents.
Her father, Rich, played football at Eastern Michigan. Her mother, Jennifer, ran track and cross country at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
So it made perfect sense for Baker to find a liking to athletics.
“My mom and dad are trying to run a race in all 50 states and 20 countries,” Baker said. “I’ve just followed them around, and I’ve done a few half-marathons with them and other long-distance races. It’s kind of a family thing.”
Baker and her teammates work hard during the hot afternoons in the summer and fall, which requires strong motivation from everyone on the team. For Baker, this principle comes from her parents, who give Baker and her two siblings a competitive drive in just about everything they do.
That competitiveness showed up when Baker was at McLean High School, where she held the title of team captain for two years. Not only did she earn all-district honors her senior year when she had nine goals and 16 assists, but she also led the Washington, D.C., area that year.
Her parents aren’t the only people in her family that have inspired Baker. Her older sister, Caitlin, is a field hockey player who played at University of Mary Washington. She coached Baker when she was young, and that was how she fell in love with the sport. Her brother, Nick, played ice hockey at George Mason University.
“We’re actually all extremely competitive,“ Baker said. “There always been a slight sibling rivalry.”
Baker’s love for competition has already helped her with the Bobcats this season. Ohio is off to its best start since 2011, and she’s tied for second on the Bobcats with 10 shots on goal. Those opportunities haven’t turned into a ton of production yet — she has a goal and an assist thus far — but that should increase if Baker keeps fighting.
A look into her family roots shows that she won’t stop any time soon.