On the water of the Seneca River is where you’ll find the Syracuse women’s rowing team during the spring, always working toward getting better.

“Really great balance of being this intense water sport that demands a lot from you physically and mentally,” SU senior Katharine Ryan said of the sport.

But it’s also a sport some on the team decided to pursue a little late than others.

“I, actually, was the kid that did soccer, tennis and ballet all through high school," SU senior Emma Gossman said. "I didn’t start rowing until my junior year.”

What You Need To Know

  • For the second year in a row and fifth time in the last six years, SU women's rowing will compete in the NCAA Championship

  • The Orange finished a program-best 10th a season ago, and look to build on that this season

  • The Championship Regatta is this weekend in Florida

“I’m originally a basketball player," SU junior Madison D'Ambra said. "Always loved basketball. I played throughout high school. I initially did it to stay in shape for basketball, and I eventually fell in love with it.”

The opportunities in the sport are endless. Rowing has given some of the girls, like Emma Gossman, a chance to compete against national teams in just her first season on the hill.

“That was super cool to be a little freshman competing against some of the best in the whole world,” Gossman said.

But some opportunities are bigger than others. And there’s none bigger than this weekend when the Orange travel to Florida for the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row and fifth time in the last six seasons.

“I think we’re really breaking boundaries as a team since I first started," D'Ambra said. "The mentality that we bring to practices and just putting in work in the offseason is starting to pay off, and it’s really exciting.”

It’s the start of something special for the Orange, who will look to improve on a program-best 10th place finish in 2021 — not too shabby for a program that battles the elements year round.

“We, as a team, have the most to gain in the few weeks leading to NCAAs," Gossman said. "We have a lot of technique to still gain, maybe not so much fitness, but we have a lot of room to still get faster because of that delayed water time.”

“I am really excited to go down to Florida just to see what we can do,” Ryan added.

And regardless of the outcome, these are the moments the seniors embrace.

“That momentum that we’ve built is going to transfer up into next year and the years in the future to really put Syracuse back on the rowing map," Gossman said. "Make us the top team, and hopefully move up in the rankings.”