Decock’s long road back to Troy ends with blowout win over Alabama State

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, August 26, 2014

One year ago, Kailani Decock was lying in a hospital bed undergoing her eighth round of chemotherapy. Tuesday afternoon she walked off her home pitch a winner, as the Troy soccer team routed Alabama State 6-0 at the Troy Soccer Complex.

Decock entered the game in the 36th minute to a large round of applause from the home fans, and the senior midfielder said the experience made the entire battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma worth it.

“It was a surreal experience,” Decock said. “At this time last year, I was in the hospital and didn’t know if I would be back this season. To not only be back, but also be back and playing in the first home game is awesome. I am just happy I could play again and help my team win. I am so excited to be back.”

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Decock didn’t score in Troy’s romp of the Lady Hornets Tuesday, but Trojan head coach Jason Hamilton felt she proved that she is back and ready to contribute to the team.

“She gave us some really good minutes today,” Hamilton said. “We met this (Tuesday) morning, and talked. She is going to be someone that is going to help us get through games. It is great to have her back, not just for her personal story, but for the fact that she will help our team win games.”

Before being diagnosed with cancer, Decock said her career was a bit of  an “up and down roller coaster.” She has one career goal, a game winner over Georgia State during her freshman season in 2010.

She appeared in 20 games as a sophomore, and just seven as a junior.

Decock didn’t want her career to end with a sour taste in her mouth.

“The way I left was not how I wanted my career to be remembered at Troy,” Decock said. “I am thankful to be back here and helping this team try to get to where we want to go. I received the biggest blessing in the world, and can’t wait to see what lies ahead.”

Jones’ brace leads Troy to 6-0 romp of Alabama State: Alissa Jones scored in the 26th and 48th minute to lead Troy by Alabama State in the home opener for the Trojans. Jones also set a new school record for shots taken with 11.

Jones’ first goal came on a fast break seconds after Troy opened the scoring with a goal Chelsey Williams. Her second of the day came on an attack and feed from Annabell Simpson.

“It was pretty awesome to get a couple of goals today,” Williams said. “They were my first two since coming back from taking a year off. Once we got the first one today, we felt more confident and it all fell in to place.”