While a hurricane named Lili threatened the North Carolina coast, two girls soccer teams -- St. Mary's and John Carroll -- were kicking up a storm just a couple of blocks away from Annapolis' Severn River.
The game between the top two Baltimore Catholic League teams pitted the St. Mary's Saints, last year's regular-season champion, against the Patriots, last year's tournament champion.
When the turbulence ended, St. Mary's (9-2 overall, 7-2 against the league) had escaped with a 4-3 victory and come within a few percentage points of the league-leading Patriots (6-2-2, 6-1-1).
Statistically, the game looked pretty even with each team having six corner kicks, the Saints having a 15-12 edge in shots, and John Carroll keeper Karen Olsen making eight saves, compared to six for St. Mary's Virginia Frisch.
However, those stats don't illustrate the fury with which the Saints controlled much of the play throughout the game.
Alternating between a long-ball, short-passing game, the Saints had the Patriots constantly turning, backpedaling, spinning on their heels or simply frozen in their tracks in the first half.
"We wanted this game and we got it," said senior Kathy Green, a returning All-Metro and All-County player who scored a goal in each half, including her team's final goal for a 4-2 lead with seven minutes left.
John Carroll's Carol Metz scored off a header with five minutes left, but the Saints defense packed the box and held on for the win.
Perhaps the most steady and unnoticed play came from Saints defender Heather Greenlee, who shadowed John Carroll's Julia Malinowski throughout the game.
"Everywhere I went she was breathing down my neck and as a team, we only played in spurts," said Malinowski (seven goals), an All-Metro, All-County and All-League selection who is also a candidate for the under-19 national team.
"That was Heather's job," said Saints coach Jerry Tobin. "She marked Julia out of the game."
Green's first goal, which she scored after a weak clear by a John Carroll defender in the ninth minute of the first half, was followed by Liz McGonagle's penalty kick with five minutes left in the half.
McGonagle, another All-County and All-League player, placed her shot high into the right corner. Olsen had no chance.
But John Carroll's All-League players -- Carrie Stallings (five goals) and Malinowski -- struck quickly for the Patriots in the second half.
Stallings launched her shot from the far corner and Malinowski slipped her shot under Frisch. All of a sudden, the game was tied at 2-2 with a full 36 minutes left to play.
"Oh, we were scared when they tied the game," said junior midfielder Randall Goldsborough, a returning All-League and All-County player. "But we knew that the rest of our season depended on us winning this game. Our intensity was very high."
And 13 minutes later, Goldsborough put the Saints ahead again, 3-2, collecting a rebound after Olsen blocked the shot of her teammate, Meredith Kennedy.
Green capitalized on another defensive mistake to tally her second goal.
John Carroll's defense, which was plagued by weak clears throughout the game, allowed a ball to roll untouched from the midfield inside the box about 10 yards from the goal mouth.
There, Green won a battle with John Carroll's Suzie Delaney and poked her shot past a sprawling Olsen.
"The whole game we cleared the ball into the offense well and I thought Laura Coakley led a good strong midfield game," said Tobin, whose Saints take on Catholic Wednesday. "I'm sure we'll be seeing them again."