New Coach, Experience Lead Men’s Lacrosse Into Promising 2016

Feb 29, 2016

MLAX 2015 Stats
DUBUQUE, Iowa – First-year head coach, Kasey Burst, and the University of Dubuque men’s lacrosse team, led by UD’s first-ever All-CCIW selection in goalkeeper, Kyle Mullins, will look to utilize their experience and veterans in adding to their win total after capturing their first win in school history in 2015.

Coach Burst takes over a squad that features five key contributors that have gained valuable experience (105 combined games played) in the team’s first two seasons of play, including 3 of last season’s top-5 scorers in junior Tyson Svoboda (15 goals), junior Josh Berey-Wingate (7 goals), and senior Icle Freeland (6 goals).

As UD enters its third season, Coach Burst takes over as the Spartans second coach in team history. The Syracuse, N.Y. native enters his second stint as head coach after spending the last 18 months building up the Clarke University’s men’s and women’s teams, who start play in 2016.

UD men’s lacrosse is greatly looking forward to building off last season and take another step in the right direction, especially during CCIW play,” said Coach Burst. “We have a balanced roster of returners and some new faces as well.”

The former Division I lacrosse player at St. Mary’s (Md.) will use his experience to guide a Spartan team that finished 2-10, 1-4 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. Things are looking up for a Spartan team that more than doubled their goal count (25 to 55) and greatly reduced their goals against (263 to 189) from 2014 to the 2015 season.

A big reason for the nearly 80 goal against differential was the emergence of sophomore goalkeeper, Kyle Mullins, who took home Second Team All-CCIW honors last season after leading the conference with 85 saves in five CCIW games. Mullins total was more than double the next highest total of 34.

“Kyle will look to continue his success in conference play and is on track for another big year in the CCIW,” said Coach Burst.

Offensively, Svoboda (15 goals) and Berey-Wingate (7 goals) lead the charge and are the top returning shot takers at 24 shots on goal apiece in 2015. Berey-Wingate is an all-around threat as the faceoff specialist (won 78 of 185 attempts (42.2%)) and the team’s ground ball leader at 53.

“On offense, we have a lot of experience that will come into play,” added Coach Burst. “I believe our attack is our most complete unit, led by Svoboda and senior Icle Freeland (six goals and three assists in 2015).

Newcomers will provide instant threats for the up-and-coming Spartans.

“We are excited to see transfer Joe Furnstahl on the first line,” said Coach Burst. “Joe hopes to have a big year as a two-way midfielder and freshman Jake Olsen will round out the first line. Mikey Julius will round out the attack and has high expectations as a contributor in his freshman campaign.”

After a combined six home games in its first two seasons, the Spartans host nine of their 13 total games in 2016, starting with Coach Burst’s matchup against his former team, Clarke, to start the season on Wednesday, March 2. UD embarks on first road trip in Texas and Louisiana on March 14 and 16, respectively.

Key Returners
Tyson Svoboda (Attack, Jr.) | 12 GP, 11 GS, 15 Goals, 3 Asts, 18 Pts, 43 Shots (24 on goal)
Josh Berey-Wingate (Attack, Jr.) | 11 GP, 11 GS, 7 Goals, 7 Asts, 14 Pts, 41 Shots (24 on goal), 53 Ground Balls, 78-185 Faceoffs (42.2%)
Kyle Mullins (Goalkeeper, So.) | 12 GP, 11 GS, 719 Min, 189 GA, 15.76 GAA, 182 Saves, 49.1% Save Percentage

Key Newcomers
Jacob Olsen (Midfielder, Fr.) | 6-0, 190 from Deerfield, Ill.
Dalton Gardner (Midfielder, Fr.) | 6-3, 210 from Marion, Iowa
Michael Julius (Attack, Fr.) | 6-0, 150 from Aurora, Ill.
Branden Mueller (Defender, Fr.) | 6-0, 180 from Stoughton, Wis.

Returning Stats
Goals (35 of 55, 63.6%)
Assists (16 of 23, 69.6%)
Points (51 of 78, 65.4%)
Shots (136 of 226, 60.2%)
Ground Balls (233 of 360, 64.7%)

Stat Check
Difference in shot percentage in 2 wins (20 goals on 74 shots, 27.0%) compared to 10 losses (35 goals on 152 shots, 23.0%) in 2015. Not a noticeable difference as the Spartans aim to create more offensive opportunities this season.