Lauren Gregor was a very good soccer player. She was the leading scorer at Holliston High, the Tri-Valley League champion, in her senior year.
At Brandeis University, her 15 career game-winning goals, along with her 40 goals and 98 points overall, rank second in program history.
“I would love for all my players to be more like Lauren Gregor,” said Denise Dallamora, her coach at Brandeis. “Dedicated, loyal, kind, strong work ethic, humble, considerate, and respectful.”
Now 30, Gregor (left, in a research lab) no longer plays soccer. She has run the last two Boston Marathons for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, which provides financial and emotional support to cancer patients and their families.
The cause is close to her heart.
Her father and first soccer coach, Richard, died of cancer when Gregor was 6 years old.
“Being on the field with him is a special memory,’’ she said, “and has been an inspiration whenever I played.’’
Gregor, who began postdoctorate research in organometallic chemistry at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in July, has raised nearly $6,000 for the foundation overseen by Andruzzi, a former offensive lineman for the New England Patriots.
As a sophomore at Brandeis, Gregor took a class in organic chemistry and never looked back.
“I always had a math and science brain,’’ said Gregor, who received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the Waltham school in 2006.
The following year, she taught chemistry at Newton South High, then spent six years earning master’s and doctoral degrees in inorganic chemistry at Boston University.
“Being a researcher demands time management,’’ she said, “as did balancing soccer and academics.’’