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Wednesday, February 13, 2002
Both men, women missed crucial late shots

Associated Press

OGDEN, Utah -- American curlers lost three matches in the Olympic tournament Wednesday, with the women losing to defending gold medalist Canada 6-4 and the American men losing to Germany and Norway.

Deborah McCormick
USA's Deborah McCormick marks the line of travel with her sweeper while waiting for her teammate to deliver the stone.

Germany beat the U.S. men 9-8 in an extra end in the morning then Norway beat them at night 6-5, scoring twice in the top of the 10th.

The men and women compete in 10-team round-robin tournaments, with the top four finishers in each advancing to medal rounds next week.

The American women are 2-1 and still in line for a qualifying spot.

The United States men fell to 1-3 and sit in ninth place.

In other men's early games, Sweden topped Denmark 9-5, Finland beat Switzerland 6-5 and Norway defeated Britain 7-6.

In late games, Canada routed France 8-1, Switzerland beat Sweden 8-7 and Britain defeated Germany 7-6.

Canada, the 1998 silver medalist, is ahead in men's play with a 4-0 record. Germany, Norway and Switzerland follow at 3-1.

With the U.S. team up 5-4 entering the final end -- or inning -- U.S. skip Somerville barely moved a Norway rock out of scoring position. But that allowed Norway to set up for two points and the victory.

"I like to play close games but and but I would rather win them," Somerville said. "We're not dead yet. Maybe it's better for us to have our backs up against the wall."

In the earlier game against Germany, Somerville needed to put his stone closer than the German stone to win, but instead hit his own team's rock.

"It just ran straight," Somerville said. "I have to be hard on myself. At this level it's not as much fun. We want to win."

After winning its first two matches, including an upset victory over Sweden, the American women lost in the final end Wednesday afternoon. The Canadian women stayed atop the standings at 4-0.

Germany and Switzerland are 3-0 with the United States is tied for fourth at 2-1.

In other women's matches Wednesday, Denmark beat Sweden 11-9, Switzerland defeated Norway 7-5 and Germany beat Japan 5-3.

U.S. women's skip Kari Erickson missed a last shot to win against Canada.

"I am not upset with our performance," she said. "Canada has a great team. They played really well."

The women face Denmark and Switzerland Thursday. The men play Switzerland.