NEWBERG, Ore. — The Blues had hoped for a winning start to conference play but came up short as the Whitman College women's lacrosse team fell 19-5 at defending and predicted league champion George Fox in Northwest Conference action Saturday at Austin Sports Complex.

Olivia Engle and Katie Hinnen both scored two goals to lead the Blues (19-5, 0-1 NWC). Anna Cadigan made eight saves in goal for Whitman in a full game of action.

The game was tight for a good portion of the first half. Madison Strickland (5 goals, 4 assists) assisted on the game's first goal then scored the second as the Bruins led 2-0 just over 10 minutes into the game. On an assist from Amelia Leopold, Hinnen scored inside of 18 minutes remaining for Whitman's first goal to make it a 2-1 score.

George Fox (1-1, 1-0 NWC) responded with six unanswered goals to take a commanding lead with 13 minutes to play until halftime. Jennifer Burke (5 goals, 2 assists) and Bailey Faust (3 goals, 1 assist) both scored a pair in the run to put the Blues behind the eight ball.

Hannah Miller scored to halt the run but George Fox added four more before the break, two from Burke, to take a 12-2 lead into halftime.

Cadigan was strong in net to start the second half, allowing only two goals through the first 12:25 of the period. Meanwhile Engle scored two goals during that stretch but a hopeful run never materialized.

Whitman will play again today at 1 p.m. at Linfield in another conference game.