Penn got a goal two minutes into overtime from junior midfielder Christian Barreiro to beat Bucknell, 1-0, in the first round of the NCAA College Cup Thursday night at Rhodes Field.
"There's very few feelings better than winning on a 'golden goal,' " Quakers coach Rudy Fuller said.
Bucknell (10-9-2) had most of the possession and chances early, but Penn turned momentum in its favor with a few hard shots on Bison goalkeeper Marc Hartmann midway through the first half. Neither team was able to break through.
In the second half, Penn (13-5-0) had most of the chances, one of which forced a diving save by Hartmann in the 70th minute. But the Quakers could not capitalize, and the game went to sudden-death overtime.
It didn't take long in the extra session for Penn to finally score. A little less than two minutes in, Penn won a throw-in on the left side. Zach Barnett heaved the ball into the box, and it went to Marlboro, N.J., native Jason Gorskie. He redirected the ball to Barreiro, who was open in front of the net and scored from close range.
Barreiro raced across the field in celebration, and the student section behind the goal stormed out of the stands to join him.
"It's one of the best experiences of my career," Barreiro said. "It just felt great."
Next for Penn is a trip to perennial powerhouse Maryland, the tournament's second seed. The game will start at 5 p.m. Sunday, and Fuller said he looks forward to playing one of the most storied programs in college soccer.
"It's a game that anybody would want to play," he said. "I don't think that many people are going to give us a shot, and that's fine."