Arizona State soccer fared significantly better Thursday night in the second of back-to-back matches against the nation’s highest rated teams.

ASU trailed just 1-0 at halftime to No. 1 UCLA then was forced to make a goalkeeper change in the second half and lost 3-0 at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. On Sunday, ASU lost 6-0 at No. 2 Stanford.

“The message going into today’s game was we didn’t want Stanford to beat us twice,” ASU coach Graham Winkworth said. “It was very demoralizing on Sunday and we could have easily been down for this game. But I thought we were the stronger team at the beginning of the match and if it wasn’t for an inch here or there, we could have found ourselves a goal up.

“We did get beaten by the Number 1 team in the nation, who are extremely talented. Credit to them for showing that extra bit of quality inside the penalty box.”

ASU senior Jazmarie Mader and sophomore Christina Edwards kneeled during the national anthem, as did four UCLA players.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a very long time,” Mader said. “Ever since (Colin) Kaepernick did it, it kind of brought it to my attention. The fact is the world is hurting and with everything happening in the world and with a platform that I have as a collegiate athlete, I should stand for equality and rights of everybody.”

Mader informed Winkworth of her plans and received his support. She told her teammates via group message, saying she was not asking them to join her “but if you want to, you are more than welcome to join me.”

Edwards said she believes in the racial equality message athletes are sending by kneeling and wanted to make sure Mader had support.

“She’s my best friend and my sister,” Edwards said. “I wanted her to know I was right there with her.”

Winkworth, a native of England, said, “At ASU, we support our student-athletes in whatever their beliefs are. The flag means a lot of different things for different players. I choose to stand up for the flag because the flag is special to me in a different way because I’m very happy America has welcomed me the way it has. I respect our young ladies who knelt just as much as the ones that didn’t. It’s up to them and ASU soccer will support our girls in whatever their decisions are in that sense.”

ASU managed just two shots in the final minute against Stanford but had three – two on goal — in the first eight minutes against the Bruins.

UCLA forward Hailie Mace, Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, found enough space at the top of the box to score in the 19th minute. She also converted on a penalty kick early in the second half after an ASU hand ball in the box.

ASU freshman goalie Nikki Panas left in the 51st minute with an apparent head injury and was replaced by senior Megan Delaney. Mace’s penalty kick came in the 53rd minute and UCLA’s Anika Rodriguez scored off a deflection in the 54th minute.

UCLA, which led 19-7 in shots (9-4 on goal), improved to 11-0-1, 4-0 Pac-12. ASU fell to 4-6-2, 1-2-1.

Winkworth said Panas was held out for precautionary reasons and she might be back for a 1 p.m. Sunday match against No. 6 USC (9-1-1, 3-0-1). The Trojans edged Arizona 1-0 in double overtime Thursday.

ASU loaded up on defense after Stanford, moving freshman forward Olive Jones to the back and leaving one forward, often Mader, at midfield.

“Olive is a good center forward but she’s also a good center back,” Winkworth said. “I told her if you make any errors, they’re on me. She shows a lot of composure on the ball at the back. We just felt the way UCLA plays, we needed an extra center back in there to close some of the gaps. By playing with wing backs, we had an outlet higher up the pitch whereas against Stanford when we did win the ball, we didn’t have anybody to play to.”