A Saint since birth, Londregan has settled into new soccer role

St. Bernard's Mia Londregan gets clear of Tourtellotte defenders Jolie Wilber (20) and Julia Annese during Monday's ECC Division III game in Montville, which Tourtellotte won 2-0. Londregan has scored eights goals this season after earning all-state honors as a defender last year. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
St. Bernard's Mia Londregan gets clear of Tourtellotte defenders Jolie Wilber (20) and Julia Annese during Monday's ECC Division III game in Montville, which Tourtellotte won 2-0. Londregan has scored eights goals this season after earning all-state honors as a defender last year. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

Montville — Mia Londregan was speaking of former St. Bernard School girls' soccer teammate Kara Bassett, who last year became the program's single-season scoring leader.

"It's such a small school, Kara was one of my best friends," Londregan said, then creating an analogy. "It's such a small school, you can say, 'Not only do I know the star quarterback, I have class with him and we're friends.'"

If Bassett was The One a year ago, however — three-sport athlete, all-state soccer player now competing for Division II Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vt. — then that must make Londregan this year's version of the star quarterback.

A senior, she also competes in three sports, including indoor track and girls' lacrosse. In soccer, Londregan was a Class S all-state selection last year, too, at center back before moving to forward this year to take over Bassett's scoring role. She's come through with eight goals so far for the Saints, 3-2 overall, 3-2 in Division III of the Eastern Connecticut Conference following Monday's 2-0 loss to Tourtellotte.

Londregan plans to play soccer in college, so far leaning toward Division III Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

"I kind of suspected it," Londregan said of her role as St. Bernard's primary goal scorer this year. "For selfish reasons, I wish sometimes I was still playing defense because that's where I made all-state. But I do love scoring. There's not much of a better feeling.

"It's different. Sometimes you feel kind of helpless because the other team's going into the defensive end and you want to be the one to go kick it out. I think I'm just a strong player, aggressive. I'll put my body on the shot (to stop it)."

Londregan also fits into the mold of many of St. Bernard's most recent high-profile athletes.

A New London resident, she followed her grandfather Tom (1962) and her dad Jeff (1989) to the school, a Saint since birth.

And she is a part of a community-based environment at St. Bernard, spending a week over the summer in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on a mission trip she helped plan to work with mentally and physically disabled people ages 7-30 though an organization called the Mustard Seed Communities.

"I think it was just seeing how much we could do to help them," Londregan said of the work in Jamaica. "Just knowing you're there means so much to them. They have a prayer service three times a day; the kids love singing hymns."

"It's a culture of this school," St. Bernard coach Shane Clarke said, speaking of Londregan as the latest in a line of outstanding scholar-athletes he's coached. "They look out for each other. That's what keeps me coaching here. The kids get it. They're good kids."

Londregan has been chosen to receive the 2017 St. Edmund's Honor Scholarship at the organization's medal of honor dinner at the Mystic Marriott on Oct. 13.

She is a member of St. Bernard's student council, the student ambassadors' club and is a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools Leader. She captains the girls' soccer team and indoor track team, where she contests the sprints and the long jump, and was an All-ECC selection at midfield in girls' lacrosse this spring as the Saints won a share of the league's Division III title.

All that doesn't stop Londregan from being a little bit frustrated on days such as Monday against Tourtellotte. Londregan missed a penalty kick that would have tied the game, then had another potential game-tying goal off a corner kick nullified by a foul away from the play. Saints goalie Briana Beverly had 10 saves in the loss.

"(She wants) to win. I love that as a coach," Clarke said of Londregan. "That will make her come back even harder the next time."

Clarke said he didn't have any doubts about moving his all-state defender to take the place of his graduated all-state forward.

"Most of the best forwards are tough as nails," Clarke said. "She's not one to shirk away from the fight. She's pretty strong. She's 5-foot-5, 5-6, but she's all muscle. She is strong. ... I knew that she could (play forward) and that she would. She is the type of kid you want to have and want to coach. She's got the right personality."

v.fulkerson@theday.com

 

St. Bernard's Mia Londregan (4) passes the ball against a Tourtellotte defender during Monday's 2-0 loss to the Tigers in an ECC Division III game. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
St. Bernard's Mia Londregan (4) passes the ball against a Tourtellotte defender during Monday's 2-0 loss to the Tigers in an ECC Division III game. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

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