The U.S. women’s curling team started the 2022 Winter Olympics as the hottest team in the field, going 3-0 while outscoring opponents 24-12.
Team USA has settled down a bit since, losing two straight games to Great Britain and Sweden, the defending gold medalists.
U.S. vice skip Nina Roth, who was the skip of the U.S. team at the 2018 Games, said she and her teammates aren't fretting too much, and they plan to use the losses to get better.
“It's just staying in the moment,” Roth told reporters following Sunday’s loss to Sweden. “We're going to digest this game and see what we can get out of it, learn and then just keep moving forward.”
The U.S. had mistakes that piled on in the loss to Sweden, a game they led 3-2 through four before allowing Anna Hasselborg’s team to score one in the fifth and steal two more in the sixth.
Sweden scored two more in the eighth and stole three in the ninth for the 10-4 win.
“I think we came out strong,” said Team USA’s Becca Hamilton. “We had a lot of opportunities, but I guess after the second half of the game we kind of struggled a bit to capitalize on those.
“It's just building off of what we just learned here, start sharp and finish sharp.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Team USA (3-2). They’ll next take on Korea, the defending Olympic silver medalists, and follow that with a game against Switzerland, the only unbeaten squad left in the women’s tournament.
With four games left, the U.S. is still in position to reach the semifinals. At 3-2, they’re tied with Great Britain and Sweden for third in the standings. The top four teams move on to the medal round.
Switzerland (5-0) is currently first in round-robin play, and Japan (3-1) is second.
More than anything, the U.S. not only wants to pile more wins on to hopefully move on to the medal rounds of play, they have personal reasons for trying to win back-to-back contests.
“We joke around that if we have two wins in a day we can get ice cream at night," Roth said. “We haven’t had that yet.”