Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

September 19, 2013

Identical Kelly twins play key role for boys soccer team

Identical Kelly twins play key role for boys soccer team

For opponents, there are times it seems that Kelly kid is everywhere for the Andover boys soccer team.

One minute, the captain with short blond hair is playing deep in the defensive end; the next minute, he is firing a shot on goal on the offensive end.

Then it clicks in.

“A lot of people will say, ‘Wow, that kid is all over the field,’” Matt Kelly said. “Then, by the end of the game, they figure it out and come over and say, ‘I didn’t know you had a twin.’”

The reason it seems that Kelly is in two places at once on the pitch is because they are. But the Andover co-captains understand the mistake.

Identical twins Sam and Matt Kelly both lead the Golden Warriors soccer team, with Matt a force on defense and Sam a go-to striker who entered the week with a pair of goals already this season.

“People joke with us a lot that it isn’t fair because we know what the other is thinking” Sam said, laughing. “But we really do have a special connection. He is a little more disciplined on the field and I am a little more creative, but overall we are very similar players. And we look pretty similar, too.”

Similar does not begin to describe the pair, who look exactly the same outside of a mole on the left side of Matt’s face (“I tell people mole equals Matt” Sam said.)

But for Andover coach Jim Saalfrank, a little mistaken identity is a small price to pay to have the standout twins on his team.

“Those two are tenacious on the field,” the coach said. “They are also born leaders. They will do anything it takes to make our team better, and that’s something you can’t teach.

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