NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Not unlike many students roaming Belmont University's campus, Jessi Boozer was drawn to the school by its heralded music business program.
Studying music industry marketing and public relations, Boozer (Brentwood, Tenn.) spun her academic pursuits into an exciting internship this past summer at the locally based Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. But before her schooling and work experiences could affirm the commandments of preparation and precision, the senior long ago found them on the soccer field.
A former state champion with Brentwood High, Boozer knows the importance of putting in work behind the scenes. Practice makes perfect, after all, and it's as true for a big matchup on the pitch as marketing a museum exhibit's unveiling.
"Befpre all the events, you spend all this time planning for it," said Boozer, recalling her experiences with the Country Music Hall of Fame. "Then to see it actually happen, it's so cool and exciting to see how it all comes together in the end."
Boozer stuck close to home after leaving high school, making the short commute to Belmont from her hometown just outside the city. Coming off an injury her senior year, she remembers being caught off guard by the speed and physicality of the college game.
It didn't stop her from appearing in all but one game for the Bruins that year. She even earned four starts in the midfield as a freshman. Boozer's been a regular starter ever since, including starting 15 games a year ago as a junior and notching the first three goals of her collegiate career.
Now a senior with a pair of assists already on the stat sheet in 2018, Boozer hopes to ease the transition for the next generation of Bruin talent as a leader among her peers.
"Coming in as a freshman there's a different pace to it. All of our freshmen are capable of it, but getting to that point is harder," Boozer explained. "You need encouragement for sure. I know that was a struggle for me freshman year, realizing how much more physical college soccer can be.
"I feel like I bring a good mixture of staying serious and getting stuff done and also being there for the girls. I hope they feel they can come to me if they ever need anything. Those connections will carry on even when I graduate."
Boozer and the Bruins open Ohio Valley Conference play with a trip to Austin Peay on Friday. Game time is set for 6 p.m.