SEMMERING, Austria (AP) _ Kristina Koznick of the United States clinched her first World Cup victory of the season today, winning the night slalom in Semmering.

Koznick, whose previous season-best had been second in a Dec. 20 slalom at Veysonnaz, Switzerland, twisted her way around the 58 gates down the Hirschenkogel course in a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 40.49 seconds, beating Switzerland's Karin Roten, who finished 0.84 seconds behind in second.

Pernilla Wiberg of Sweden clocked the third fastest time, coming home in 1:41.37, 0.51 seconds ahead of Spela Pretnar of Slovenia.

The 23-year old Burnsville, Minn., runner-up in the World Cup slalom standings last season, was second after the first run, trailing Pretnar by 0.01 seconds. But she posted a brilliant second leg, clinching her second career World Cup victory.

Wiberg, the 1997 overall World Cup champion, also improved considerably in the second run, jumping from fifth place to third.

The slalom standings leader, Swedish teen-ager Anja Paerson, veered off the course midway down the first run.

Trude Bakke of Norway, fourth after the first run, also didn't finish, dropping out in the second leg.

Despite not starting in today's slalom, Alexandra Meissnitzer of Austria has held on to her whopping lead atop the overall World Cup standings, where she sits with 891 points.