After a loss to American University two weeks ago, it didn't appear that George Mason had much of a chance at an NCAA tournament bid.

But following three shutout wins, including a 1-0 decision over Maryland yesterday in College Park, the Patriots are almost certain to receive a bid next week.

Sophomore Mark Pulisic scored his 10th goal of the season with 1:27 left in the first half to lead the 16th-ranked Patriots (13-4-3). Maryland dropped to 8-6-4.

"We've won a spot, I'd think," Patriots Coach Gordon Bradley said. "It would be very difficult for anyone on the {NCAA} committee not to give us a bid."

Mason's chances for an automatic bid ended Saturday when William and Mary defeated James Madison to clinch the Colonial Athletic Association title. But based on wins over Maryland, Loyola, William and Mary and George Washington, the Patriots should qualify for the tournament.

William and Mary and Virginia already are assured spots and Loyola and George Mason are probables.

Maryland must win the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament this week at Duke to qualify for postseason play. Bids and pairings will be announced next Monday.

Yesterday, fullbacks Bob Lilley, Steve D'Antonio, James Harris and Tony Walsh limited the Terrapins to few scoring chances within the penalty box. Goalie Martin Dunphy was seriously challenged only once, when he deflected a clear, 10-yard shot by Paul Boardman in the second half.

Virginia 1, Clemson 0:

John Harkes scored with 48 seconds remaining to give the second-ranked Cavaliers (16-1-2, 5-0-1 in league play) a victory over No. 12 Clemson (13-4-1, 1-4-1) in an ACC game in Charlottesville.

Tampa 1, American 0:

John Clarke of Tampa (13-2-1) scored at the 50:03 mark in the Florida International Invitational in Miami. American is 9-7-2.