USA picks up first win at 2009 Women's World Championship

March 23, 2009, 11:37 a.m. (ET)
GANGNEUNG, South Korea - The American women took their first big step towards overcoming a devastating start to the 2009 Mount Titlis World Women's Curling Championship with a decisive 7-6 win over Germany's Andrea Schopp Monday night at the Gangneung International Ice Rink.

Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.) and teammates Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) and Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.) will likely need to run the table now to turn the week around and make the playoffs. Front-runners Canada and Denmark bettered their records to 5-0 with China and Sweden just a win behind.

"It's like a monkey off our backs," Joraanstad said. "In the first couple of games we were playing well but not getting the breaks. We want Deb throwing guards or draws for extra points."

And, that's exactly what they did tonight in defeating Germany to earn their first win of the week. "We feel like we're picking up on the rocks better now," Joraanstad said.

After exchanging singles to start out the game, McCormick drew around the center guard in the third end to grab shot rock in the four-foot with her first rock. When Schopp came up short, McCormick would draw in a second stone forcing the veteran skip to try the runback but she'd only remove one giving the Americans the steal. In the fourth end, McCormick drew down to the button to put two in scoring position on Germany again, forcing Schopp to follow her in for just a single.

Things would continue to go in favor of the U.S. as Pottinger drew down to the back of the four-foot to put two closest to the button for the Americans in the fifth end. Schopp came up short trying to duplicate her shot, allowing McCormick to draw a third stone in. Schopp, the 1988 world champion, would convert a runback to remove one and sit in second position. The Americans would then regain the lead at 4-2 when McCormick drew down to the four-foot once again.

Back-to-back solid shots by Joraanstad in the sixth end allowed the U.S. to keep a rock in the house with German guards up top. McCormick would simply need to put up guards with her two stones. What looked to be a sure steal for the Americans was thwarted when Schopp made a dandy raise and pushed her stone into the four-foot for a single.

McCormick made a takeout for two in the seventh end to extend the lead to 6-3. In the eighth end, Schopp was looking at two U.S. rocks spaced apart in the top eight foot. She'd make a nose hit on one but it would only be good enough for second count, extending the U.S. lead to four points - it's biggest of the week. After forcing the Germans to a single in the ninth end, the Americans held on as McCormick needed to make a takeout in the 10th end to avoid giving up a steal of three.

The Americans return to action Tuesday with games against Norway (0-5) at 10 a.m. and Korea (1-4) at 8 p.m. (all times local).

"We're just going to still take it one game at a time because that's what we can control," Joraanstad said.

Game scores: USA 7, Germany 6; Canada 8, Norway 5; Denmark 7, Russia 4; China 8, Switzerland 7

Team USA line score:
USA 011 020 210 0 7
*Germany 100 101 001 2 6
*last rock in first end

Denmark 5-0
Canada 5-0
China 4-1
Sweden 4-1
Scotland 3-2
Switzerland 3-2
Germany 2-3
Italy 1-4
Korea 1-4
Russia 1-4
USA 1-4
Norway 0-5

Live end-by-end scoring from the World Women's Championship is available online at All times posted are local (13 hours ahead of Eastern Time Zone; GMT + 9 hours).