Laura Pelino on the field

Salida High School senior Laura Pelino, right, dribbles through the Florence defense Thursday at the Salida High School field. Pelino scored a hat trick for the Lady Spartans in the 9-1 soccer win.

A strong start to the season for the Salida High School girls’ soccer team got even stronger Thursday with a 9-1 win over Florence at home.

Senior Laura Pelino scored a hat trick, sophomores Rachel Pelino and Quinn Burkley each scored twice, and freshman Saige Ferguson and senior Bailey Golden added a goal apiece to pace the Lady Spartans.

Laura Pelino opened the scoring in the 12th minute after Florence’s goalkeeper mishandled a long shot into the net.

Three minutes later, Burkley doubled Salida’s lead after a nice one-two put Rachel Pelino in on goal. Florence’s goalkeeper made the stop, but Burkley was there for the rebound.

The Lady Huskies countered almost immediately for a goal of their own on a counterattack.

After that goal, play became more even between the two teams, with the Lady Spartans looking rattled.

Three quick goals at the end of the half, one each from Rachel Pelino, Ferguson and Golden, gave Salida back its mojo and put the game on ice.

After the restart, the Lady Spartans continued to be aggressive. They were rewarded four minutes into the half when Laura Pelino got her second goal of the game, with Rachel Pelino assisting.

Laura Pelino completed her hat trick three minutes later, with her sister Rachel assisting again.

Three minutes after that, Burkley got her second of the game, followed quickly by Rachel Pelino’s second to make it 9-1.

Salida saw out the rest of the game comfortably.

Salida’s midfield dominated the game for the most part, keeping possession and not allowing Florence to counterattack. The Lady Spartans’ offense turned Florence’s goal into a shooting gallery.

Head coach Todd Bright said he was glad the team got out of the game without injuries, as they have a big game today against Pueblo Centennial.

Florence is in a rebuilding year, Bright said, and he thought the Lady Spartans did a lot of good things.

The three goals at the end of the first half sealed it, Bright said.

Bright said senior Naomi Richardson was the player of the game. Richardson started in defense and moved into the midfield in the second half. She looked comfortable in both positions.

The Spartans have a quick turnaround for their next game, at 4 p.m. today at home against Pueblo Centennial. Bright said this will be a big test for Salida.