If you take a look at the Ohio State field hockey roster, you might feel as if you're taking a trip around the world. With seven players from other countries, the Buckeyes definitely have an international flavor. One member of the "United Nations" as the international players are commonly known among their teammates is Curlyne Wynn, a sophomore midfielder/forward from Trincity, Trinidad and Tobago.
Wynn was introduced to field hockey at an early age, as her aunt is a former member of the Trinidad and Tobago National Team. She remembers going to practice with her aunt and watching the players.
"I started playing seriously when I was 12, that was when I competed in the Championship Division of the National League."
Wynn was the youngest female player to compete in the Championship Division and it was through her participation in field hockey at the national level that brought her to the campus of Ohio State.
Buckeyes assistant coach, Jose Ignacio Puzo, saw Wynn at a Championship in Barbados and it wasn't long after that Wynn found herself on a recruiting trip to Columbus.
She knew she was going to fit in and despite considering schools like North Carolina and Hofstra, her mind was made up; she was going to be a Buckeye.
Wynn had an impressive freshman year, as she played in all 20 Ohio State games, including 17 starts, and finished third on the team with 21 points on sevens goals and seven assists. Wynn also captured NFHCA First Team All-West Region honors, was named to the 2003 Big Ten All-Tournament Team and was selected Freshman of the Year, marking a first for the Ohio State program. And while she admits it is a great individual honor, she's quick to point out that it also signifies a team effort.
"It was nice to be recognized, but without my teammates and coaches, I wouldn't have been at that point. Other people had to do things to get me in the position to win the award."
According to Wynn, field hockey in the United States is different than in Trinidad and Tobago. The first difference being that programs in the U.S. are more physical, whereas the sport as it is played in her home country involves more individual stick work.
"There's more weightlifting and strength training here than what I was used to back home. I had never lifted before coming to Ohio State."
Another obvious difference between the two countries is weather.
"Weather is a factor, especially at the end of the season, but the cold is just something you have to block out while you are playing."
And though she is far away from her family and hasn't been home since she started at Ohio State, Wynn said that her family raised her to be a strong person, and she admits that she likes her independence. It also helps that she has a great relationship with her teammates.
While she admits to some it might seem like a challenge having so many players from other countries, Wynn views it as a positive. Though each country has a slightly different style of play, it's good because the team can learn from one another and blend it all into a cohesive unit.
"I love playing with everyone. We learn a lot from each other on and off the field. We all know what to expect from one another and what each of us can do."
This year, Wynn has picked up where her freshman campaign left off, as she currently leads the squad with 17 points on eight goals and an assist. The Buckeyes finished the regular season 9-9 overall and 1-5 in League play and entered this year's Big Ten Tournament as the No. 5 seed. The Buckeyes defeated No. 4 Penn State, 3-2, in the first round, before falling to eventual Tournament champion, Michigan, 5-0.