Maltby made two saves in the shootout and Chatham advanced in Morris County Tournament action with a 3-3 (4-1 shootout) triumph on a warm Sunday afternoon.
Emily Hoffman, Kate Murphy, Maggie Higgins and Liz Hyde all knocked in their PK attempts for the Cougars. Chatham also received regulation goals from McCall Moore, Murphy and Jaclyn Leto. The victory lifts the 10-seeded team into a quarterfinal-round contest against second-seeded Randolph, a 3-0 winner over Montville in opening-round play, on Sunday, Oct. 16.
Freshman Paige Monaghan scored twice and Shannon Wilson connected in regulation for seventh-seeded Roxbury. Alexa Migton was the only Gael to connect on her PK in a game that was played on the Gaels' grass field while the boys MCT game against Morristown-Beard was playing on turf.
Chatham tied the contest 3-3 with five minutes left in regulation when Leto headed in a Murphy cross. The Cougars never led in the contest. They always rallied from one-goal deficits to tie or kept within striking distance of the Gaels.
Maltby admitted she had never competed in a shootout before but logic, calmness and some crazy random thoughts kept her loose.
"I was pretty nervous,'' Maltby said. "Then I started thinking of random things. At one point, I'm pretty sure I thought of rubber ducks. I was just trying to get my mind off things.''
Twice Maltby went to her right to knock down hard shots by Roxbury's Tia Mitchell and Rebecca Dobbins to give Chatham the shootout lead.
"I tried to smile at them and freak them out a little bit,'' Maltby said. "I thought if I was a righty (kicker) - which everybody was - they would shoot to (my) right side. I would always choose a side and stick to that side and not get caught standing in the middle.''
The Cougars had not practiced penalty kicks at all this season but didn't seem to be in a panic to select their shooters. All of them seemed calm and collected.
"It's not who is the best kicker,'' Hyde said. "It is who has the most confidence. A lot of our seniors and a couple of our juniors really stepped it up.''
Hyde finished the job expertly by placing her shot into the right side of the net for the game-winning penalty kick goal.
"I tried not to think too much about it,'' Hyde said. "I wanted to run and do it as fast as I could. I try to hit it same spot every time. Before I get up there, I know what I want to do and I don't change my mind.''
The Chatham team is an interesting group. Some of them are standouts in other sports like sweeper Amanda Berntsen, who excels in basketball. Nine of them played on the highly successful and tournament-tested lacrosse team last spring, including Leto, a goal-scoring machine and the county's player of the year in some publications. They may not be the most soccer-savvy group left in the tournament but they are athletic and do not shy away from a challenge or big-game pressure.
Their first-year coach Chris Calveley, who grew up in Scotland, has lifted their soccer sense a bit and also has them playing with Lina Proska as a recessed forward which can create confusion for some defenses.
Actually, wherever Proska plays she creates chances for her teammates to finish and causes trouble for opposing defenses.
"It was a great feeling,'' Hyde said of the win. "We had a lot of confidence and we knew we could do it. All we had to do was perform. We knew we could win. You could never let down because they would come back. It was a really intense game all over the field.''
The contest was hard fought and resulted in several thrilling goals. In the 15th minute, Roxbury's freshman duo of Caitlin Mertens and Monaghan hooked up for the opening score. Monaghan ran onto her teammate's through ball and placed a righty shot into the left corner of the net to make it 1-0.
Three minutes later, Chatham responded vigorously when Moore one-touched a Proska cross from about 15 yards out. Although she didn't score, Proska created problems for the Roxbury defense most of the afternoon.
"She's just a great all-around player,'' Hyde said. "She can beat anyone one on one. She just has so much speed on the ball.''
Roxbury's Shannon Wilson made it 2-1 when she connected on an absolute blast. She booted her shot on the right side of the field from just outside the box and it landed in the upper left corner of the net to give the Gaels the halftime lead.
Murphy took advantage of a defensive miscue off a poor clear to tie the game at 2-2 just two minutes into the second half. The Gaels were determined to take back the lead. It was with exceptional fortitude that Monaghan was able to score just five minutes later. She received a long ball and dribbled it down the left side of the field on a breakaway. Both Maltby and a Chatham defender came out to cut down her angle and eventually knock her down but not before she drove the ball just inside the near post with tremendous force.
The Cougars battled for the equalizer the rest of the half and finally got it when Leto got her head on a Murphy cross from close range and put the ball in.
"It was toward the end of the game,'' Leto said. "We worked really hard just to get the ball to the other side of the field. We hit a few crosses. Kate Murphy got a cross in that I was able to get my head on it.
"It was really exciting to be able to come back, not only twice, but a third time, and to eventually win especially against a good team like this.''
Both teams had minimal chances in the overtime. The most dangerous may have come at the very end of the second overtime when Maltby came out to punch out a ball in Roxbury's last second scramble in front of the Chatham net.