Wednesday, February 20, 2002
Switzerland pops U.S. 9-4 to advance
OGDEN, Utah -- U.S. women curlers will play Canada for a
bronze medal after losing 9-4 to Switzerland in an Olympic
Deborah McCormick of the delivers a stone for the Americans, but they ended up losing 9-4 to Switzerland in the semifinals.
The Americans will face the defending Olympic champions, who
were 6-5 losers to Britain in the other semifinal Wednesday. The
Swiss and Brits will meet in the finals. Both matches are Thursday.
"We wanted to make the final four," said Kari Erickson, the
American skip, or captain. "To get a bronze medal will be a great
way to end this."
Getting this far is a surprise for the U.S. team. It's a
disappointment for the Canadians, who lost only once the
preliminaries. Curling is arguably the second biggest sport in
Canada behind hockey and the team's stars have agents and
"We came here as a very strong country in curling. And when
you're from Canada, you expected to get gold," said Canadian Julie
In the men's semis on Wednesday, Canada advanced to the gold-medal game Friday with a 6-4 victory over world champion Sweden. The
Canadians will play Norway, 7-6 winners in extra time over
defending Olympic champion Switzerland.
The American women, winners of four consecutive matches after
starting 2-3 in round-robin play, conceded their semifinal after
nine ends -- or innings -- when Switzerland scored three in the ninth
on a shot by team skip Luzia Ebnoether.
Erickson had led the Americans to a 3-3 tie at the end of the
fifth, but Switzerland soon added three more to make it 6-3.
"At the end of the eighth we decided to draw for one and try to
steal the game in the ninth," Erickson said. "It was a good
choice for us, but it didn't work."
In the other women's semifinal, Britain defeated defending gold
medalist Canada 6-5 with Rhona Martin putting in an easy stone with
her final shot in the 10th end. Canada had beaten Britain 9-4 in a
Canada tied it with single points in the fifth and sixth but
Britain scored another two in the seventh to go up 5-3. Canada
again scrambled back with singles in the eight and ninth but that
was just good enough to go into the 10 tied at 5 before Martin's