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MORNING BRIEFING: Behind Creighton's fast start
by Paul Kennedy, September 9th, 2008 3PM



Creighton's climb to the No. 2 spot in the Soccer America Men's Top 25 is not surprising. The Bluejays have been perennial national contenders for more than a decade. A key to Creighton's 3-0-0 start is the play of their freshmen.

Freshmen Ethan Finlay, Greg Jordan and Brian Holt were all named to the all-tournament team at the 12th annual Diadora Challenge.

Finlay scored the first two goals of his collegiate career -- both game-winners -- in the wins over Portland (3-0) and UC Riverside (2-0).  Jordan had a goal and an assist against UCR, while Holt, who won the starting job in place of departed Matt Allen, has been outstanding in goal.

Creighton coach Bob Warming was particularly impressed with the play of his freshmen against Portland.

"I think it is remarkable what our freshmen are doing," he said, "between Brian Holt playing an outstanding game in goal, to Ethan Finlay buying into our work ethic, and because of that hard work he gets a goal. Greg Jordan keeps getting big stops in the midfield and Kris Clark was great again, too."

PATRIOT GAMES. The Patriot League teams have produced some outstanding results in early non-conference play, beginning with Holy Cross's 1-0 win over 2007 NCAA Division I semifinalist UMass and Lafayette's 1-0 victory over West Virginia on the opening weekend.

Last weekend, Bucknell got its first win at Penn State in 40 years when it beat the Nittany Lions, 2-0. The Bisons had tied Ohio State, 1-1, two days earlier. In another Patriot-Big Ten matchup, Lafayette tied ranked Northwestern (0-0) on Sunday.

With Sunday's 4-0 win over Rider, Colgate extended its home winning streak to 12 games. Lehigh moved to 3-0-1 with a 2-1 win over Princeton and 2-2 tie with Fordham, while Navy recorded a pair of wins (2-1 over Adelphi and 3-2 over Lipscomb).

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