Ebie Harris is accustomed to being Beyer High's "other forward," the result of playing opposite scoring sensation Jennie Marshall, but there was little difference between the two Friday.
The sleek Harris, whose speed complements Marshall's aggressiveness, struck like lightning to lead Beyer past Pitman 4-2 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff opener at Downey High.
Pitman led 2-1 early in the second half, before the Patriots tied it on Marshall's second goal -- the third goal in a 3-minute span.
The flurry continued two minutes later when Harris stole the ball near midfield, then sprinted down the right side before skidding a 20-yard shot into the goal.
With Pitman's defenders still panting, Harris took a volley from Marshall at midfield and began another run. Pulling up 25 yards from the goal, she sent a laser whizzing past two defenders and under the goalie's arm.
"You've got to have faith in here for a shot like that," said Harris, putting a finger to her heart. "Jennie was shouting from behind that I had time to shoot, so I was patient and looked for the spot."
Marshall, with 53 goals this season and 106 in her career, assisted both of Harris' goals. Harris, who has 22 goals this season, assisted one of Marshall's goals.
"Everyone knows what Jennie can do, but Ebie, with her speed, is the backdoor threat," said Pitman coach Kim Runyan, whose club went up 2-1 on Hannah Verschelden's 10-yard header. "We had a few small mistakes, and Beyer took advantage of them."
Beyer (23-2-1), which visits Lincoln (14-2-4) in Tuesday's quarterfinal, spent much of the first half chasing Pitman's players.
The Patriots had faced nary a challenge in six weeks, rampaging through the Modesto Metro Conference. The lack of competition -- the MMC's runner-up, for example, was routed 3-0 in its playoff opener -- clearly left the Patriots unprepared for Pitman.
"We didn't have a league game where an opponent played with the sort of intensity and pace of Pitman," Beyer coach Stuart Kaplan said. "I'm glad to see we got this sort of wake-up call today."