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US Women Curlers Take First Sochi Olympic Win 7–4 Over Japan

The U.S. Women’s Curling team finally realized some of its potential in it 8–6 win over Japan Thursday.

The U.S. women started slowly, held to a single point in its first two hammer ends but came out huge in the fourth end, stealing two points from the Japanese.

Skip Erica Brown started the rally with a pair of amazing shots, first sneaking past a Japanese guard to freeze to the inner edge of the Japanese scoring rock, to lie shot. Japanese skip Ayuni Ogasawara tried to make the same shot but hit her own guard.

Brown then made an even better shot, clearing two Japanese stones from the house and leaving her own in scoring position.

The fourth end seemed to steady the U.S. team; they started planning and making the shots they had been missing in their previous four defeats. They still missed some key shots—but they also made some key shots, picking up the double take-outs and scoring draws that had been eluding them in earlier matches.

Hopefully the win will improve the attitudes of the U.S. women. In the first end, holding the hammer, Erica Brown told her team, “If we just got one that’s okay.” That kind of thinking shows how shell-shocked the women were after four defeats. Hopefully they will have the confidence to be aggressive from here on out.