On a night when scoring opportunities were hard to come by, Salina Central senior Reese Nesting made the most of his.
Nesting's goal midway through the second half not only gave the Mustangs a 1-0 victory over Buhler on Thursday night at Salina Stadium, but also sent the seniors out in style.
"It was a really good win for us," Nesting said. "It was really important because it was it was the last home game for the seniors."
Central, after a conservative first half that produced just four shots on goal by the two teams, turned up the pressure after intermission and was rewarded in the 62nd minute when Nesting found the ball at his feet and fired into the top left corner of the net from 25 yards out.
"It just deflected to me and I took a shot," Nesting said.
Nesting, a former goalkeeper, has found a niche as an offensive threat for the Mustangs. He scored in similar fashion earlier this season in a 2-1 loss to Salina South.
"That's one of his strengths. He's got a good shot on him," Central coach Cameron Hunter said of Nesting. "We try to keep him up field where he can let it fly."
Central nearly got on the board in 30th minute off a corner kick from Logan Johnson that targeted William Ryan, whose shot was blocked. The ball ricocheted to Liam Foley at the top of the 6-yard box, but Buhler keeper Jax Frederick got in front of it to preserve the scoreless tie.
After intermission, Central nearly paid for sloppy pass at the back, but goalkeeper Grant Sheppard charged off his line and slid in to clean up before Buhler's Eli Deviney could get a shot off.
The Mustangs' best chance came in the 54th minute on a long through ball to Avery Regier behind the Buhler defense, but his shot hit the football cross bar just above the goal.
Seven of Central's 10 shots came in the second half, with two of them on target.
"Our game plan was to sit back, because they had a really fast forward," Hunter said. "But in the second half, the boys were eager to go out and press, and we allowed them to do that. We started pressing higher. Our defense did a great job."
It was the second victory in the last three games for Central, which finishes the regular season next week on the road, first at Goddard Eisenhower on Tuesday, then Thursday at Andover.