Loyola College and Towson State University wrapped up third successive conference soccer championships yesterday.
At Curley Field, Loyola, unbeaten against conference teams since entering the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference two years ago, stretched its streak to 27 games with a 2-0 victory over Fairfield University.
At the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Joe Layfield's goal less than five minutes into the second half broke a 1-1 tie, and Towson State held on for a 2-1 triumph over Rider College.
La Salle (1983-85) had won three MAAC titles in a row, but the feat by Towson State was unprecedented in the ECC's 18-year history.
Chris Sim and Tom Donahue gave Loyola (12-8-2) all the cushion it needed against Fairfield (13-7) when they scored during a five-minute span within the first 15 minutes. Goalkeeper Shawn Boehmcke ended with a career-high 15 saves.
Senior co-captain Donahue, the tournament's Most Valuable Player and MAAC Player of the Year, had four goals in two tournament games, giving him a season total of 18.
Against Towson State (14-4-3), Rider (10-7-2) had an 8-2 edge on shots in a 1-1 first half, then wound up with margins of 16-9 on shots and 8-2 on corner kicks.
Mark McQuaite gave Rider a lead at 23:55, launching a shot from 25 yards out that Towson State goalkeeper Rich Pellegrini deflected but didn't stop.
Towson's Ed McCue, the tournament's Most Valuable Player, tied the score by taking the ball away from a defender inside the 18-yard line and kicking it into the far corner at 37:45.
"McCue created a goal out of nothing to breathe some life into us," said Towson State coach Frank Olszewski.
Rider narrowly missed going in front two minutes later. Dimitri St. Phard's shot hit the underside of the crossbar, caromed down and struck the ground 2 yards in front of the goal, where Pellegrini grabbed it.
Each side also received a saving play from a field player.
Rider's Rich Thomson kicked one out of his goal mouth, and Towson State survived a flurry where a head ball hit a post, and when the rebound went to a Bronc, his shot was kicked away from the open goal by Brian Bichy.
Towson State back Lance Johnson said of his side's defense: "Rider hit more long balls than usual, but that played into our hands, because we had the speed to recover.