Lana, who graduated from UDC with a BS in Architecture this past May, and Yara, a rising junior defender entering her third season with the Firebirds women's lacrosse program in 2017, fled from Syria with their mother four years ago. As the civil war escalated there, the sisters discovered an unlikely source of solace here. Lacrosse.
The following article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of Lacrosse Magazine, the flagship publication of US Lacrosse, the sport's national governing body. Join more than 450,000 US Lacrosse members today and have Lacrosse Magazine delivered right to your mail box.
Finding Refuge: Oudat Sisters Find Home in Lacrosse
|Photo courtesy of Brian Schneider - Lacrosse Magazine|
Lama Oudat is still learning English, but she’s an expert in the phrase, “Go Yara!” and once mastered, “Go Lana!”
“She finds me before I find her,” said Yara Oudat, a 21-year-old defender for the Firebirds. “She also takes pictures of me every single game. It’s embarrassing.”
Lana Oudat, 24, remembers a time when her name was the subject of her mother’s chants. She was a midfielder for UDC before graduating last year. Unlike her sister, she found a way to enjoy the adulation.
“You know how some people, they don’t want their mom to scream so loud?” she said. “I don’t care. I love it. I feel support because she’s always there for you.”
Lama Oudat has been there every step of the way, but now it’s a new world. She’s no longer driving her daughters to basketball practice like she did when they were younger. Now, lacrosse is what strings this family together.
The Oudat family has been a mainstay in the UDC program for three seasons now. Win or lose — the Firebirds are 1-33 since debuting in 2014 — the Oudat family continues to take in the moment.