USA women earn first win

Feb. 19, 2010

McCormick leads USA women to first victory at 2010 Olympic Winter Games

(VANCOUVER, British Columbia)  - The traditional definition of Inukshuk translates to mean you are on the right path. Here in curling the Inukshuk logo is centered in the middle of the house and guided Debbie McCormick's Team USA to its first victory Friday morning here at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Pumping her fist in happiness and relief, McCormick made a takeout of the Russian shot rock on the button to lead her American team to a 6-4 last-rock win over the Russian Federation, led by Anna Sidorova. It is the first win for the U.S. curling program here at the 2010 Olympics and improves the U.S. ladies to 1-3 in the nine-game round robin.

"We all believe in each other. Lots of times we'll play better with our backs against the wall," McCormick said after the game. "I definitely wanted to make that shot for the team. I took some time to make sure I was comfortable in the hack."

The U.S. shot its highest percentage game of the week, 82 percent compared to Russia's 78 (U.S. tournament average is 77 percent), in earning the win for McCormick (Rio, Wis.) and teammates Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) and Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.).

"We still missed a couple draws, and we'll continue to focus on that. It felt really, really good," Nicholson said. "I'm proud of how Debbie took her time on the last shot. It just wasn't feeling right for her, so she took her time to reassess. That's what champions do. They take a moment when they need to."

The U.S. got on the scoreboard first by stealing a single in the third end. Lots of rocks were in play once again in the fourth as the Americans had the Russians chasing all throughout the end. Sidorova was looking at three Americans rocks but it was an open takeout for her to take the point and tie the game.

Quality sweeping by Nicholson and Joraanstad helped the Americans score two in the fifth end to take a 3-1 edge. Russia would tie the game in the seventh with a deuce of their own.

The U.S. gained a one point edge in the eighth end as McCormick, aided by strong sweeping from all three teammates, made a draw into the eight-foot.

Nicholson set the ninth end up nicely for the Americans, sticking her second stone in the four-foot behind the center guard to eventually force the Russians to make a takeout for one.

With the last rock in hand, the U.S. didn't let yesterday's disastrous last-rock ending haunt them today as McCormick made a takeout of the Russian rock on the button for the win.

"It just feels good. Things are starting to roll our way," Joraanstad said. "It's a long two weeks. You can't get discouraged by a couple of losses."
The U.S. women return to the ice at 2 p.m. PST Saturday to take on Great Britain (3-1).

Live coverage of the curling action from Vancouver can be found on NBC's networks - USA, CNBC and MSNBC. Check your local listings to view the schedule. Live web-streaming of the action also can be found at

Game scores: China 10, Denmark 1; Great Britain 7, Germany 4; USA 6, Russian Federation 4

USA line score:
*Russian Federation    000 100 201 0    4
USA women        001 020 010 2    6
*last rock in first end

Here is the two-day outlook for competition:
Saturday, Feb. 20 - 9 a.m. USA men v. Sweden; 2 p.m. USA women v. Great Britain
Sunday, Feb. 21 - 9 a.m. USA women v. Canada; 2 p.m. USA men v. Great Britain; 7 p.m. USA women v. Sweden

Men's standings:
Canada         4-0
Switzerland     3-1
Norway     3-1
Sweden     3-1
Great Britain     2-2
France         1-2
China         1-2
Denmark     1-3
Germany     1-3
USA         0-4

Women's standings:
Canada         3-0
Sweden     3-0
China         3-1
Great Britain     3-1
Germany     2-2
Japan         1-2
Denmark     1-3
USA         1-3
Russia         1-3
Switzerland     0-3

USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, Nike, bitRail, Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky and is partnered with CurlingZone and Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC.


For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , 608-338-9900 (cell), 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office)  

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