OLYMPICS: US women curlers lose to Germany, fall to 0-2
AP Sports Writer
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – The Americans are still winless in Olympic curling.
Skip Debbie McCormick’s squad fell 6-5 to Germany in its second match Wednesday, unable to make up a two-point deficit in the final end after losing a tough one to Japan on an official measurement Tuesday.
“We play best with our backs against the wall,” U.S. second Nicole Joraanstad said. “It’s a position we’ve been in before. We’re going to go out there and continue to play strong. It’s a long time, it’s nine games. Two losses doesn’t knock people out of it. The wins are going to start coming our way.”
The U.S. men hoped that’s the case for them, too. They lost a pair of gut-wrenching matches Tuesday and took the ice against Switzerland on Wednesday afternoon seeking their first ‘W’ in Vancouver.
McCormick’s team again struggled at crucial times with the technical aspects of rock placement and shot-making.
“That’s two losses, and it’s going to put more pressure on us,” she said.
Coach Wally Henry, McCormick’s father and longtime coach, figures the Americans must win their next two to pull even through the first four contests in the nine-game, round-robin schedule. The top four advance to the semifinals.
Have the United States’ medal hopes dwindled?
“It’s a lot early to say that,” Henry said. “We have to get a couple of wins back. You can get through the round robin with four losses and still get in. Usually five losses puts you out. We’ve got a long way to get there.”
The German women, led by 44-year-old skip Andrea Schoepp, are 2-0.
Schoepp, who until last Friday was still working as a private science tutor back home, had been concerned coming in about whether the Germans could play well from the get-go – but they beat Russia in their opener 9-5.
“Still avoiding last place,” Schoepp said. “For us it’s working to go game for game without many expectations.”
The Americans fell behind 1-0 after the opening end but tied it in the fourth before giving up a three-spot in the fifth when they had been set up nicely but couldn’t capitalize. McCormick and crew snacked on oranges during their short break after the fifth, then the U.S. got one back in the sixth and another in the seventh. For that point, McCormick stole one with a key draw through a port.
Germany scored a deuce in the eighth.
The Americans are set to play again Thursday afternoon against Denmark.
“It’s hard, because I feel really good,” McCormick said. “I made a ton of draws in that game. … Andrea made some pistols. We were just on the wrong side of the inch, but I do feel we played better than yesterday. It was a big improvement from yesterday and we’ll just build upon that.”