At 5 feet 8, 170 pounds, Notre Dame's Matt Kavanagh was one of the smallest players on the field Saturday in his team's semifinal matchup with No. 7 seed Maryland, which has the nation's top-ranked scoring defense.

But the sophomore attackman's stats from the game showed just how big he can be.

Kavanagh had a game-high five goals as well as two assists to drive the sixth-seeded Fighting Irish into the Memorial Day championship game against No. 1 Duke with an 11-6 win against the Terps.

Heading into the game, Kavanagh had the most points by a Notre Dame player since 2001 and was the only player in program history to record 30 goals and 30 assists in a season. Kavanagh now has 40 goals and 32 assists on the year.

"I think he did a great job of just picking his spots," Maryland coach John Tillman said. "When he got his opportunities, he made the most of them."

Kavanagh was modest about his performance.

"Our team is playing so well right now, and I'm just on the receiving end of great offense," he said.

Then the number set in.

"Seven sounds kind of crazy," he said with laugh.

Turri seals game for Duke

After spending most of Saturday's game on the bench, junior Duke goalkeeper Kyle Turri came in for sophomore starter Luke Aaron early in the fourth quarter to shut the door on fifth-seeded Denver's surging offense.

Turri's four saves down the stretch helped the top-seeded and reigning national champion Duke secure a 15-12 semifinal win over Denver.

"Well, certainly the starter kind of lost his fastball, so bring in the reliever. You know, I don't think there's really much science to it," Duke coach John Danowski joked after the game.

Danowksi inserted Turri at the 13:46 mark of the fourth quarter after three straight Pioneers goals had cut Duke's lead to 11-10.

"It's kind of nice when I get thrown in there. I don't have any time to really think about it and get it in my head," Turri said. "Once I'm thrown in there, I'm in there."

To go with the four saves, Turri allowed just two goals in nearly 14 minutes of play. Aaron allowed 10 goals with only three saves in 46 minutes in goal.

Turri said there was not yet any indication of which goalkeeper will start Monday. Though he has mainly been a backup this season behind Aaron, Turri started 15 of the team's 20 games in 2013, posting a 14-1 record.

"I know what he brings to the table," attackman Jordan Wolf said. "He's won a national championship before."

Turri started and played all but one minute in the 2013 title game, recording 10 saves to help Duke to a 16-10 win against Syracuse.

Notre Dame, Duke to square off in 2010 title game rematch

Conor Kelly was a junior in high school in 2010, sitting in the stands at M&T Bank Stadium for the NCAA championship. Duke defeated Notre Dame, 6-5, in that contest, denying the Fighting Irish a crown in their first-ever trip to the title game.

Kelly will be there for the teams' rematch Monday. This time, he's a junior in college and Notre Dame's starting goalkeeper.

Unlike the goalie, Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan doesn't want to look back to 2010. He's focused on now.

"The perspective is, this is the 2014 team's only chance to win a national championship," he said. "And I'm not focused on anything else, and I don't even care to be focused on anything else."

As Atlantic Coast Conference foes, Notre Dame and Duke faced each other April 4; the Blue Devils won, 15-7.

Et cetera

Saturday's announced crowd of 30,428 was more than the 28,444 who watched the semifinals at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia last May, but it was still the lowest attendance in Baltimore and second-lowest since the Final Four was moved to NFL stadiums for the 2003 season. ... Saturday was not a good day for the Cannizzaro family. In addition to Connor Cannizzaro and Maryland losing, his older brother Sean, a junior midfielder for Denver, finished without a point in the Pioneers' loss to Duke. Their sister, Kara, was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 NCAA women's tournament for North Carolina.

adodson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/dodgerthat