FacebookTwitterRSS

Kiva Gresham: former Lady Techster still in the game

May 26, 2017

 

GRESHAM

John Stack
Staff Writer | jes062@latech.edu

 

Kiva Gresham, soccer lover and Louisiana Tech alumni, returned two years after graduation to share her lifelong love of the game with a new generation of students.

 

“When I was four years old, people tried to make me switch from playing t-ball with the boys to playing softball with the girls,” Gresham said. “I refused, so the next year I signed up for soccer instead.”

 

In her very first game she scored four goals and fell in love with soccer.

 

She was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Growing up, she played on the same team from the time she was five all the way until middle school. That was when she branched out and started to play competitive soccer for club teams.

 

As a result, Kiva started to gain a lot of interest from different colleges. Most were local, but she did turn down a scholarship offer to Texas Tech. Then one day, back home after playing in a tournament in Houston, she got a phone call.

 

“We were so bad in that tournament, but I guess I did something right as a striker because when I got home, (then) Louisiana Tech head coach Jennifer Soileau Burns called me up and invited me to come to Tech,” Kiva said. “She told me about the program, her vision for going forward to change the culture and thought I could be a key person in that.”

 

She said she gave her commitment to Tech in November of 2006. 

 

“My senior year of high school was not even over before I found out Coach Burns was leaving the program but I never wavered,” Gresham said. “I was determined to come in and to start, to play day one and to make an immediate impact on the program.”

 

She said her kind of soccer fit perfectly with then-new coach Kevin Sherry’s kind of soccer.

 

“My first day at Louisiana Tech was also Coach Sherry’s first day on the job in preseason in 2007,” she said. “Ten years later and we are still together and a lot of success has occurred in that decade of time.” 

 

Sherry said he credits a lot of that to the New Mexican forward.

 

“I have seen Kiva develop as a player and as a person over the 10 years into someone who truly reflects everything good about Louisiana Tech Soccer,” Sherry said.

 

He said when he took over the program, they built up the team, not only on the field but with the culture of the program away from the field.

 

“That first year for Kiva and me was much more about change than it was winning,” Sherry said. “Only players who fit the core values and the new vision of the program remained.  It was about the process of creating a sound culture within the program.”

 

Gresham said she spends, on average, about 25 hours a week on the pitch, and a good chunk of that is practices and spending extra time with the strikers. 

 

“The rest is playing soccer by myself four to five times a week for two to three hours at a time,” Gresham said.

 

The still-undersized and underestimated striker, who accumulated 27 goals and 20 assists in her Lady Techster career and still owns the single-season record with 32 points, still has that incredible technique and decision-making, too.

 

Just ask the current team, who recently saw her score two goals on them in the annual spring alumni game.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *