But when Timmy was asked about what his role as a mentor to Jacob has looked like, he said the job has been effortless.
“I luckily don’t have to do too much for him,” Timmy said. “He’s a great player and even a better kid.”
Timmy let his play do the leading on Friday. And Jacob delivered.
With 7:53 left in the first quarter, the senior got the ball to the first-year, who did the rest. Jacob spun off a Marist defender and bounced a ball off the turf and into the net to give the Tar Heels a 3-1 lead.
Then with 9:02 to go until halftime, Timmy found the back of the net himself, curling around the left side of the Marist goal and zipping a ball past the goalkeeper to give UNC its only second-quarter goal.
Timmy’s play also gave the Tar Heels a 7-1 lead, which they carried into halftime.
Even with two goals and two assists, Timmy wasn’t satisfied with his performance. He said he had “just too many turnovers” and played “a little selfish.”
His mindset and motor seems to be something that’s rubbed off on Jacob, too.
Jacob scored his second goal of the game — and seventh of the season — with 5:37 remaining in the third quarter on an assist from first-year attackman Nicky Solomon.
Still, he kept the focus of his postgame interview on his older cousin and the impact he’s had on him on and off the field.
“He’s done so much for me,” Jacob said of Timmy. “Just ever since I started my picking my classes process this summer. I had no idea what I was doing. But just little things like that — he’s just always been there for me.”
After the Tar Heels started the fourth quarter with an 11-3 lead, Timmy’s second goal and sixth of the season with 14:38 left in the game ended any last hope of a Marist comeback.
For the two Kellys, not much has changed from the time their fathers — David and Bryan — were a part of the program.
But Jacob was sure to point out the one big, obvious change: the new $28.4 million stadium.
“This is what you dream of as a little guy,” he said. “I always grew up loving Carolina lacrosse, so coming here at the old Fetzer, I always thought that was the coolest thing ever. And then I’m here now, and it literally could not get any better.”
Head coach Joe Breschi hopes Jacob can continue to make himself comfortable in his new home, and in the process, become the next Kelly to star for the Tar Heels.
“Obviously, we’ve had a laundry list of Kellys that have played here...” Breschi said. “It’s fun to see. I’m happy for the family. I’m excited for those two guys to play together this year.”
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