The University of Virginia and George Mason were the only area schools to receive bids to the 28-team NCAA men's soccer tournament, which begins this weekend.

Defending NCAA co-champion Virginia (10-5-6) received an at-large bid and will host Colonial Athletic Association champion Richmond (16-5-1) Sunday at 3 at Scott Stadium. The Spiders, making their first tournament appearance, have a victory and a tie against the Cavaliers in the last two seasons.

George Mason, which lost to Richmond in the CAA final last weekend, also was an at-large selection and will play at 12th-ranked St. Louis (17-4-2) Sunday at 2 p.m. It is the sixth time in the last seven years the 15th-ranked Patriots (14-5-3) have earned a spot, although they haven't won an NCAA match since 1986.

Evansville (20-0-2), Rutgers (17-2-2), North Carolina State (16-4) and UCLA (15-1-4) received first-round byes.

Virginia, George Mason, Howard and George Washington were selected for the tournament last year.

Loyola of Baltimore (16-2-5) didn't receive a bid because it played a weak schedule, according to NCAA soccer committee officials. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, of which Loyola is a member, does not receive an automatic bid, so the Greyounds had to hope for an at-large berth.

"I'm surprised and extremely disappointed," Loyola Coach Bill Sento said. "I didn't think our strength of schedule was a question, but evidently it was the committee's biggest concern."

In 11 conference victories, the Greyhounds outscored their opponents 61-1. They played seven teams that qualified for last year's tournament and they were 1-1-1 against teams selected this season.

NCAA soccer chairman Jim Dyer said yesterday he expects his committee will recommend to the NCAA executive committee that the tournament be expanded. The last increase, from 24 to 28, was in 1988.

The only ACC teams not to receive bids were Maryland -- which faltered late in the season -- and Duke, which was upset at home by Wake Forest in the first round of the conference tournament last week. Georgia Tech doesn't have a team.

The Virginia women's team (18-2) will play Connecticut (13-7-1) in a quarterfinal match Sunday at 12:30 at University Hall Field. The third-ranked Cavaliers had a first-round bye.

Montgomery-Rockville won the JuCo Region XX men's title Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Essex to advance to the eight-team national tournament at Mercer (N.J.) Nov. 15-18. Anne Arundel (12-4-3) won the women's crown with a 3-0 victory over Dundalk. Men's pairings, Page D7