But Westhill defender Ian Zacharewicz, who afterwards took responsibility for helping McMahon take a second-half lead, took advantage of his chance to redeem himself.
Zacharewicz fired home a shot that banged off the cross bar and into the net with just 2:30 remaining to allow host Westhill to salvage a 1-1 tie in a battle of FCIAC foes on Wednesday afternoon.
Westhill left the field with a 5-3-1 record and McMahon stands at 2-4-2.
"This (tie) is about as painful as a loss," McMahon coach Ben Ingalls said.
The Senators, after all, were two minutes away from victory. They went ahead when Zacharewicz tried to make a play with the ball, rather than clear it, and the Senators got possession near midfield. Ariben Cordova sent a pass up the left wing to Mateo Sepulveda. Westhill goalkeeper Juan Dela Cruz, who made eight saves, charged the top of the 18-yard box, and Sepulveda knocked a low shot into the far low side of the goal with 12:31 to play, sparking a celebration on the field and at the McMahon bench.
"I was cheering on the sideline. We were happy," Ingalls said.
But the lead wouldn't stand up.
"I think we played pretty well today. Once again we found a way to give up a late goal which killed us at the end," said Ingalls, who noted that his team has struggled in the second half of games early on this fall.
It's been the opposite scenario for Westhill. The Vikings have pulled out a pair of last minute turnarounds -- a win and now a tie.
Ingalls said his team can build off the fact his squad played well against a tough team.
"We dominated this game and should have won," the coach said.
Westhill Coach Joe Andrews saw things differently.
"I thought it was a fairly even match. I think both sides had opportunities. We let a few get away from us as did they," Andrews said.
Andrews noted that he has a young squad, with all but three players new to varsity this year, and that he would like to see them clean up the mistakes that are costing them games.
Andrews said he was pleased with how his team kept battling to avoid a defeat.
Westhill's goal was made possible when Cory Benz took a free kick from near the right sideline on McMahon's side of the field. The ball made its way to Reinaldo Buitron, who sent it to the middle where Zacharewicz knocked it down and booted it -- out of mid-air -- past McMahon keeper Roberto Vargas (10 saves).
"It meant a lot because I was partly to blame for the McMahon goal," Zacharewicz said.