There are no mysteries when Shannon Eden steps onto the soccer pitch.
The Wheeler sophomore center midfielder is no stranger to physical play, since she played on boys soccer teams from first to sixth grade. She's played at every position, except goalie, and she's taken the direction of several coaches throughout her career.
She's become a student of the game, and she's learned how to control one.
Eden has nine goals and five assists for the Class A No. 15 Bearcats (17-2), who meet host and No. 11 Argos in Saturday's regional championship.
According to Wheeler first-year coach Bryan Murray, Eden's stats are not a true representation of her importance to the team.
"She's a physical beast who understands the game," Murray said. "She understands score and time (situations), and she doesn't panic.
"She's versatile; she can score. She knows when to go forward and when to bring the ball back. I've never coached anyone that was this multi-talented. "I don't know what we would do without her."
Eden is playing for her second varsity coach in as many seasons with the Bearcats. While Eden doesn't admit to buying into a coach's philosophies from the get-go, she appreciates the differing perspective -- in time.
"(Coach Murray and myself) were two strong-minded people, so it did take me a while to buy into to what he was saying," Eden admitted. I'm accepting of him now, and he's been a great coach for us.
"I love getting coaches' input, because I can gain knowledge from them. I just take a mental note and use it for later."
Eden picked up some other lessons while playing on boys teams for at least five seasons.
"If I played with them, I had to be more aggressive," Eden said. "I also learned when to be aggressive; you cannot go out there and blatantly hurt someone. There's a tempo to the game, and you have to stay within it."
In the end, she's been able to reap the benefits of a quality season with her Bearcats' teammates.
"It's been a blast; we've rubbed off one another," she said. "You never realize how good it could actually be, but I thought we would be pretty good after our first game.
"We're going to have to be on our 'A' game, but I think we can keep up with (Argos)."