FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 12, 2014
USA women suffer last rock loss to China
(SOCHI, Russia) - China's last-rock victory over Erika Brown's rink has placed the American women in a must-win situation early in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
The 7-4 loss this afternoon at the Ice Cube Curling Center to Bingyu Wang's team, which won bronze in Vancouver in 2010 at the Olympic Games, puts Brown (Oakville, Ontario/Madison, Wis.) and teammates Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.), and Ann Swisshelm (Chicago) at 0-4 in the round robin standings with five games remaining. The top four teams with the best records advance to next week's semifinals.
"Anything is still possible here. You don't have to be the hottest team at the beginning of the week. You need to be the hottest at the end. We're getting a little better with each game," said Swisshelm, 45, who also represented the U.S. in 2002 when the team had its highest ever Olympic finish (fourth).
The U.S. ladies nearly forced overtime with Wang's rink but the Chinese skip made a draw to the button to win the game.
"We hung in there. I thought we had a chance to steal two in the 10th for a while there," Brown said. "She (Wang) made some great shots, though. We made her have to throw her last one. That's progress."
The U.S. opened with a steal of one point and then forced the Chinese ladies into a single in the second end as Wang placed her final stone in the top of the four-foot.
The American ladies got into a bit of a jam in the third end, chasing Chinese stones into the rings. When Brown's first stone lightly made contact with a center guard, China placed another guard to cover up their stone in the four-foot. Brown showed her composure with a pivotal draw around the guard into the four-foot to out-count China by a few inches to score a point.
China had an open draw for two points in the fifth end to take a 3-2 lead. The U.S. was forced to draw for a single in the following end after Wang converted a double takeout that left five of China's stones counting as points.
After the seventh end was blanked, McCormick played a promotion takeout that placed two U.S. stones in scoring position just behind a guard. China eventually got set up for the deuce and earned it with strong sweeping through a narrow port to place the final stone into the four-foot.
The American women were once again forced to draw for a single and China had a one-point lead and the last rock for the final end.
A center guard got left in place in the 10th, giving the U.S. a chance to steal the end. Team USA had a stone hidden behind it until China's vice skip removed it. Wang was eventually able to draw deep enough into the button to win the game.
The remaining opponents for the U.S. women include Japan (2-1), Denmark (0-3), Sweden (2-1), Canada (3-0) and Korea (1-2).
"It was a better performance today," said Bill Todhunter (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), women's team coach. "We had a couple of good chances, but we didn't always take advantage of them. We also didn't get any breaks there in the 10th. As I said before, we're missing on the wrong side of the inch. Maybe against lesser competition you can get away with that, but not here. The level of competition is just so high."
The U.S. ladies return to the ice on Thursday night to take on Japan, which defeated host Russia this afternoon, 8-4, to improve to 2-1. The U.S. men will play Great Britain (2-1) at 2 p.m. MSK tomorrow.
USA (Brown) 101 001 001 0 - 4
*China (Wang) 010 020 020 2 - 7
*last rock in first end
Draw 8 scores: China 7, USA 4; Japan 8, Russia 4; Canada 9, Great Britain 6; Sweden 7, Korea 4
Russian Fed. 2-2
Great Britain 1-2
Great Britain 2-1
Russian Fed. 0-3
Teams are competing in a nine-game round robin through Feb. 17 followed by playoffs on Feb. 19-21.
NBC's networks will cover all of the U.S. curling competition. Go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings to create a customized viewing schedule based on cable provider and time zone.
Here is a look at the U.S. team's round robin competition schedule (all times local, Moscow/MSK):
Thursday, Feb. 13: USA v. Japan, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 14: USA v. Denmark, 2 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 15: USA v. Sweden, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16: USA v. Canada, 2 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 17: USA v. Korea, 9 a.m.
Thursday, Feb. 13: USA v. Great Britain, 2 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 14: USA v. Germany, 9 a.m.; and USA v. Russia, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16: USA v. Canada, 9 a.m.; and USA v. Sweden, 7 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 17: USA v. Switzerland, 2 p.m.
Follow USA Curling on Twitter (@terry_usacurl) and check our website (www.usacurl.org) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/USA-Curling/107975609011) for updates throughout the Olympic Games.
For more information:
Terry Kolesar, Press Officer, Team USA
Rick Patzke, Assistant Press Officer, Team USA
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