There's a contrast in Lily Argyle, as there is in many great athletes, that can be jarring at first.

When she plays lacrosse, Argyle breathes fire. She's tenacious and aggressive. She's imposing despite standing just 5-foot-3. She is one of the best, and, one could say, one of the most feared girls' lacrosse goalies in the state.

In essence, her on-field persona is the polar opposite of what she's like off the field.

Shawnee coach Aimee Seward described Argyle as soft-spoken, exceedingly polite, sometimes even a bit reserved.

Argyle acknowledged the on-field transformation. It's something she likes.

And when she tried to put her finger on how it happens, she first thought about her helmet.

"When I put on that helmet and I'm on the field, I don't really feel the pressure of being myself," she said. "I can just be a good athlete and just play goalie and not have to think about everyone who's watching. I like it a lot, I definitely feel like I change a little bit when I'm on the field.

"It allows you to let loose."

A four-year starter for the Shawnee girls' lacrosse team, Argyle has been through just about everything on a high-school lacrosse field. And that plays into the aura she now has among opponents.

Argyle has won a state championship, and she started in the 2013 Tournament of Champions finals against Moorestown.

She's one of those players who many assume already graduated - it seems as if she's been around forever.

But she has one season left, one more chance to be a leader on another experienced team with hopes of another state title.

"That would be the perfect way to end my high school career," Argyle said.

Shawnee, one of the state's traditional powers, returned most of its starters from last season. The Renegades have varsity experience all over the field.

And with a strong defense in front of her, Argyle might be in store for her best season.

"I probably worked harder this offseason than I ever have," said Argyle, a Vanderbilt recruit. "I've never really been great at the fundamental aspects of being a goalie.

"So, I did a lot of reps this offseason and have been working on the technical side of the game, and I think it's working."

Saying that she isn't the most fundamental goalie takes nothing away from Argyle's ability to block shots.

She's been a natural at that since she started playing goalie in third grade.

Argyle's reflexes and innate intelligence and athleticism set her apart. And her attitude - that warrior that comes out when she steps onto the field - allows her to shine in the biggest moments.

"I love all the pressure that comes with playing goalie," she said. "I like the fact that it can come down to me deciding whether they score or not. I think that's why I always do better when I get a lot of shots on me. I get more excited, and my adrenaline pumps."

Focusing on fundamentals means Argyle will work on consistency in her movements when making saves. Building consistency will cut down on the rebounds she allows.

But all of that speaks to a work ethic that Seward said sets the standard for her team.

"More than anything, Lily is so incredibly focused," Seward said. "Even as a freshman, she always set really high standards and goals for herself, which is rare for younger kids.

"She's a great leader, she leads by example," the coach said. "And she's one of the hardest-working people out there.

"And that's going to help this team reach its goals this year."