In the past two seasons, the Staples boys lacrosse team has largely avoided the FCIAC schools in the Class L tournament before the final stages.

This year, the Wreckers encountered one in the first round, and one that handed them a defeat during the regular season.

The road to a third straight Class L final began Wednesday as the Wreckers used a big third quarter to fend off Ludlowe 6-4. Staples will travel to Glastonbury in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Both teams struggled to run their sets on offense, and the No. 10 Wreckers outscored the No. 7 Falcons — who beat Staples 7-6 in overtime in April — 4-0 in the third quarter with their transition. Quick ball movement on the break led to goals from Matt Johnson and two from Ross Goldberg in a 3:02 span midway through the third to give Staples a 5-2 lead.

“Scoring six-on-six against Ludlowe’s defense — which is very good — is difficult,” Staples coach Paul McNulty said. “They have a very good goalie. We were hoping to get those opportunities and in that third quarter we did.”

Staples and Ludlowe’s defenses locked in for most of the game, and Wreckers goalie Peter Burger and counterpart Carter Liebrock each made nine saves in the cage.

Tanner Wood scored with 1:54 left in the third to give Staples a 6-2 lead heading into the final period, when the Falcons made one last ditch attempt to save their breakout season. Goals from pulled Ludlowe to within 6-4 with 4:01 to play.

“We are two evenly-matched teams,” Falcons coach Chris Parisi said. “In the third quarter they pulled out ahead scoring in transition. I thought (Burger) played excellent and I thought (Liebrock) played excellent.”

Staples faceoff man Ben Schwaeber won all but three draws Wednesday, helping prevent a Ludlowe comeback down the stretch. The Falcons had several opportunities to get closer despite the disadvantage at the faceoff circle, but committed turnovers on errant passes.

“He’s won every game (in the circle),” McNulty said. “If you don’t have a faceoff guy it’s difficult to come back; if you score you don’t get the ball back.”

The Wreckers were without important attacker Connor Chamberlin, who severely injured his shoulder against Darien in the FCIAC quarterfinals and will miss the rest of the season.