Wednesday’s mixed doubles curling match between Team USA and Italy was all about mistakes by both teams. But it was a mistake by the U.S. during the final end that helped Italy to an 8-4 win.
Italy took a big early lead after capitalizing on a Team USA mistake in the second. Vicky Persinger missed a takeout attempt with the U.S.’s final throw, giving Italy an easy path to four points and a 4-1 lead through two ends.
It was the second straight end that Italy forced the U.S. into a tough situation. Italy’s Stefania Constantini had a successful hold shot in the first that forced the U.S. to throw away their hammer and settle for just one point at the end of one.
The early part of the game was all about missed opportunities by the U.S. On their second to last throw of the third they had a chance for a big takeout in a crowded house, but their throw hit the guard and ultimately went out of play.
Italy responded with a perfect throw that curled inside, and Persinger’s hammer throw didn’t have enough on it to clear the house, allowing Italy to steal a point in the fourth and extend their lead to four.
The U.S. began a comeback attempt by scoring one in the fourth and stealing another in the fifth to trail 5-3 going into the sixth.
In the sixth, it was Italy that made a mistake. The U.S. placed their final rock just outside of the button alone in the house, which would have given Italy a perfect chance for a takeout to score at least one. But Constantini had a hogline violation on the hammer throw that allowed the U.S. to score one for the third straight end and cut Italy’s lead to one.
Another mistake – a burned rock by Italian sweeper Amos Mosaner – cost Italy a chance at multiple points in the seventh. Instead, they settled for just one to enter the final end up 6-4.
Needing two points in the eighth, Persinger’s takeout attempt on the U.S.’s final throw missed, giving Italy two points and ultimately the win.
The U.S. (1-1) will be back on the ice at 1:05 a.m. EST Wednesday night to take on Norway. Italy (1-0) will also play at 1:05 a.m. against Switzerland.