Members of the 2012 IU men’s soccer team were honored at the White House Monday for an event celebrating 19 teams that won NCAA Division I championships in 2012-13.
The Hoosiers received their invitation by way of the 2012 NCAA College Cup, the IU program’s eighth national championship. A goal by former IU midfielder Nikita Kotlov made the difference in that season’s College Cup Final, handing IU a 1-0 victory over Georgetown to seal its ticket to Washington, D.C.
After dining with Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., the Hoosiers were greeted on the White House’s South Lawn by President Obama.
“We were able to tour quite a bit of the White House,” IU Coach Todd Yeagley said.
“And then we were up in the Red Room, the dining room, another large meeting space, learned about the history of the White House, and we had kind of a private moment with the president.”
President Obama spoke with Yeagley and senior members of the 2012 team, including team captain and defender Caleb Konstanski, now an IU alumnus.
“We each shook his hand and he came and talked to everybody a little bit,” Konstanski said. “He was saying, ‘With IU basketball, who would’ve known that the soccer team was such a dominant team? Well, now the President of the United States knows.’”
While Yeagley said he was certain the day’s events would be a highlight in the lives of his players, he remains confident that their focus will remain on the field and out of the nation’s capital.
“It was a highlight for our guys, definitely,” he said. “But I don’t think we have any future politicians in our group.”